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Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets 3-2


October 2015
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WATER TANKS FOR FIRE PROTECTION

Table of Contents
Page

1.0 SCOPE ................................................................................................................................................... 4


1.1 Changes ............................................................................................................................................ 4
2.0 LOSS PREVENTION RECOMMENDATIONS ........................................................................................ 5
2.1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................................... 5
2.2 Construction and Location ................................................................................................................ 5
2.2.1 General .................................................................................................................................... 5
2.2.2 Break Tanks ............................................................................................................................. 7
2.2.3 Design Loads .......................................................................................................................... 8
2.2.4 Coating New Steel Water Tanks and Steel Accessories for Corrosion Protection ............... 10
2.2.5 Tank Foundations and Foundation Anchors .......................................................................... 12
2.2.6 Protecting Tanks and Tank Piping Against Freezing ............................................................. 13
2.3 Operation and Maintenance ........................................................................................................... 14
3.0 SUPPORT FOR RECOMMENDATIONS ............................................................................................. 15
3.1 Suction and Gravity Tanks .............................................................................................................. 15
3.1.1 General .................................................................................................................................. 15
3.1.2 FM Approval .......................................................................................................................... 16
3.1.3 Design Loads ........................................................................................................................ 17
3.1.4 Fireproofing Steel Towers ...................................................................................................... 22
3.1.5 Lightning Protection for Wood Tanks .................................................................................... 23
3.1.6 Coating Systems for Corrosion Protection of Steel Surfaces ............................................... 23
3.1.7 Flexible Liners for Suction Tanks .......................................................................................... 26
3.1.8 Other Suction Tank Types ..................................................................................................... 27
3.2 Break Tanks .................................................................................................................................... 27
3.3 Pressure Tanks ............................................................................................................................... 28
3.4 Operation and Maintenance ........................................................................................................... 29
3.5 Foundations .................................................................................................................................... 30
3.5.1 Foundations in the Ground ................................................................................................... 30
3.5.2 Supporting Buildings ............................................................................................................. 32
3.6 Pipe Connections and Fittings ........................................................................................................ 32
3.6.1 Riser and Connections .......................................................................................................... 32
3.6.2 Bracing and Support of Riser ................................................................................................ 32
3.6.3 Provision for Expansion in Riser ........................................................................................... 33
3.6.4 Valves in Riser ....................................................................................................................... 33
3.6.5 Suction and Break Tank Pipe Connection ............................................................................ 33
3.6.6 Tank Filling Connections ....................................................................................................... 34
3.6.7 Overflow Pipe ........................................................................................................................ 34
3.6.8 Cleanout Opening and Drain Pipes ...................................................................................... 36
3.6.9 Water Level Indicator ............................................................................................................ 36
3.7 Valve Enclosures and Frost Protection ......................................................................................... 36
3.7.1 Valve Pit or House ................................................................................................................ 36
3.7.2 Frost-proof Casings .............................................................................................................. 38
3.8 Tank Heating Equipment ................................................................................................................ 40
3.8.1 Insulating of Tanks ................................................................................................................ 48
3.8.2 Circulating Heating Systems ................................................................................................ 49
3.8.3 Vertical Radiator Heaters ...................................................................................................... 57
3.8.4 Steam Coil Inside Tanks ....................................................................................................... 59
3.8.5 Air-bubbler Systems ............................................................................................................ 68

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
Page 2 FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

3.8.6 Maintenance of Tank Heating Equipment ............................................................................ 68


3.8.7 Tank-Heating Troubles .......................................................................................................... 68
3.8.8 Restoring Protection After Freeze-Ups ................................................................................ 69
4.0 REFERENCES ..................................................................................................................................... 70
4.1 FM Global ...................................................................................................................................... 70
4.2 NFPA Standards ............................................................................................................................. 70
4.3 Others ............................................................................................................................................. 71
APPENDIX A GLOSSARY OF TERMS ..................................................................................................... 71
APPENDIX B DOCUMENT REVISION HISTORY ..................................................................................... 73
APPENDIX C NFPA STANDARD .............................................................................................................. 74
APPENDIX D JOB AIDS ............................................................................................................................ 75
APPENDIX E DESIGN OF NEW CYLINDRICAL, GROUND-SUPPORTED, STEEL SUCTION TANKS .. 76
E.1 Minimum Suction Tank Accessories and Configuration .................................................................. 78
E.1.1 Suction Tank Accessories and Fittings ................................................................................. 78
E.1.2 Minimum Steel Thicknesses ................................................................................................. 79
E.1.3 Reinforcement of Openings .................................................................................................. 80
E.1.4 Arrangement of Roof Members ............................................................................................. 80
E.2 Allowable Steel Stresses ................................................................................................................. 80
E.2.1 General ................................................................................................................................. 80
E.2.2 Roof Members and Supporting Column Stress Limits ......................................................... 80
E.2.3 Steel Shell Plate Stress Limits .............................................................................................. 80
E.2.4 Uplift Anchorage Stress Limits .............................................................................................. 81
E.3 Tank Roof and Shell Design for Gravity Forces ............................................................................. 86
E.4 Tank Shell Design for Hydrostatic and Hydrodynamic Forces ....................................................... 87
E.4.1 Hydrostatic Hoop Tension Forces ......................................................................................... 87
E.4.2 Hydrodynamic Hoop Tension Forces .................................................................................... 87
E.5 Tank Design for Wind Forces .......................................................................................................... 88
E.5.1 Tank Wind Anchorage ........................................................................................................... 88
E.5.2 Tank Shell Wind Compression Stresses ............................................................................... 89
E.5.3 Tank Shell Wind Girders (Stiffeners) .................................................................................... 90
E.6 Tank Design for Earthquake Forces ............................................................................................... 91
E.6.1 Determining Earthquake Forces ........................................................................................... 91
E.6.2 Designing for Earthquake Shear at the Tank Base .............................................................. 94
E.6.3 Designing for Earthquake Overturning Moment .................................................................. 95
E.7 Tank Anchorage for Wind or Earthquake Forces ............................................................................ 98
E.7.1 General ................................................................................................................................. 98
E.7.2 Earthquake Uplift Anchorage Design .................................................................................... 99

List of Figures
Fig. 1 Break tank ............................................................................................................................................. 8
Fig. 2. Pressed steel suction tank ............................................................................................................... 17
Fig. 3. Earthquake damage to a wood suction tank lacking anchorage and bottom plate ......................... 18
Fig. 4. All-welded steel tank, steel column supported, with large steel-plate riser and radiator heater ..... 19
Fig. 5. Section through typical pedestal supported tank with circulating heater ......................................... 24
Fig. 6. Discharge pipe connected to side of suction tank ........................................................................... 31
Fig. 7. Gravity tank tower located over a buildling ...................................................................................... 35
Fig. 8. Details of pipe connections to bottom of steel gravity tank with pipe riser ...................................... 37
Fig. 9. Support and provision for expansion of pipe risers (35 ft = 10.7 m; 75 ft = 22.8 m) ...................... 38
Fig. 10.Valve pit and pipe connections at base of tank on independent tower (tank has a pipe
riser and steam-heated gravity circulating heating system) ............................................................. 39
Fig. 11. Discharge pipe connected to bottom of suction tank ..................................................................... 40
Fig. 12. Insulated metal frost-proof casing for tanks having pipe risers ..................................................... 41
Fig. 13. Wooden frost-proof casings ............................................................................................................ 42
Fig. 14. Gravity circulation system with aboveground, fuel-fired water heater for tank with
large steel-plate riser ...................................................................................................................... 43
Fig. 15. Gravity circulation heating system with steam heater for tank with large steel-plate riser ............ 51
Fig. 16. Forced circulation heating system with gas heaters for tank with large steel-plate riser .............. 52
Fig. 17. Piping arrangement for multiple steam water heaters for gravity circulation system .................... 53

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets Page 3

Fig. 18.Schematic diagram of gravity circulation heating system .............................................................. 56


Fig. 19.Automatic control circuit for forced circulation system for heating water in tanks ......................... 58
Fig. 20.Vertical radiator heater for gravity tank with large steel-plate riser .............................................. 60
Fig. 21.Arrangement for removing condensate from vertical radiator heaters when steam
supply is from plant boilers ............................................................................................................ 61
Fig. 22. Vertical radiator heater for gravity tank with large steel-plate riser .............................................. 62
Fig. 23. Lowest one-day mean temperature (LODMT) zones (in F) and normal daily minimum 30F
(-1.1C) temperature line for January, United States and Southern Canada .............................. 64
Fig. 24. Lowest one-day mean temperature (LODMT) zones (in F) of 5F (-15C) and colder over
a 30-year interval for Europe .......................................................................................................... 65
Fig. 25. Steel suction tank components and accessories ............................................................................ 79
Fig. 26. Shell plate lap splice details (elevation view from outside the tank) .............................................. 81
Fig. 27. Tank uplift anchorage chair ............................................................................................................. 82
Fig. 28. Graph of spectral accelerations SAi, SAc, and SAv vs. natural periods of vibration Ti, Tc, and Tv . 93
Fig. 29. Inadequate suction tank anchorage ............................................................................................. 102
Fig. 30. Conceptual uplift anchorage for suction tank ............................................................................... 104
Fig. 31. Steel welded uplift anchor chair ................................................................................................... 105

List of Tables
Table 1. Break Tank Fill Pipe Sizes ............................................................................................................... 8
Table 2. Inside Coating Systems (ICS) for Interior Welded Tank Surfaces ................................................. 12
Table 3. Outside Coating Systems (OCS) for Exterior, Weather-Exposed Welded Tank Surfaces ............. 12
Table 4. Surface Preparation Standards ..................................................................................................... 26
Table 5. Pipe Material for Water Storage Tanks ........................................................................................... 36
Table 6-US Heat Loss from Uninsulated Steel Gravity Tanks (U.S. Customary Units). ............................. 45
Table 6-SI. Heat Loss from Uninsulated Steel Gravity Tanks (SI Units). ................................................... 45
Table 7-US. Heat Loss from Uninsulated Steel Suction Tanks (U.S. Customary Units) ............................. 46
Table 7-SI. Heat Loss from Uninsulated Steel Suction Tanks (SI Units) .................................................... 46
Table 8-US. Heat Loss from Insulated* Steel Gravity Tanks (U.S. Customary Units). ............................... 47
Table 8-SI. Heat Loss from Insulated* Steel Gravity Tanks (SI Units). ...................................................... 47
Table 9-US. Heat Loss from Steel Suction Tanks. Walls and Roof Insulated* (U.S. Customary Units). ... 48
Table 9-SI. Heat Loss from Steel Suction Tanks. Walls and Roof Insulated* (SI Units). ............................ 48
Table 10. R Values Per Inch (mm) of Insulation .......................................................................................... 49
Table 11-US. Size of Water-circulating Pipes for Steel Gravity Tanks (U.S. Customary Units) .................. 54
Table 11-SI. Size of Water Circulating Pipes for Steel Gravity Tanks (SI Units) ......................................... 54
Table 12-US. Approximate Heat Transfer from Coils and Pipe Radiators* (U.S. Customary Units). ........ 63
Table 12-SI. Approximate Heat Transfer from Coils and Pipe Radiators (SI Units). .................................. 63
Table 13-US. Heating Surface in Coils or Pipe Radiators, Ft2 (U.S. Customary Units) ............................. 66
Table 13-SI. Heating Surface in Coils or Pipe Radiators, m2 (SI Units) ..................................................... 66
Table 14. Causes of Tank-Heating Troubles ................................................................................................ 75
Table 15. Appendix E Nomenclature1 ........................................................................................................... 76
Table 16. ASD Allowable Axial Compression Stress (Fa) in Steel Columns1 .............................................. 83
Table 17. ASD Allowable Tension Stress (Ft) in Steel Shell Plates1 ............................................................ 84
Table 18-US. ASD Allowable Vertical Axial Compression Stress (Fa) in Steel Shell Plates1
(U.S. Customary Units) .................................................................................................................. 85
Table 18-SI. ASD Allowable Vertical Axial Compression Stress (Fa) in Steel Shell Plates1 (SI Units) ....... 86
Table 19. Seismic Design Parameters SDS, SD1 and Ts Based on FM Global Earthquake Zone1 ............. 92
Table 20. Ground-Supported Flat-Bottom Suction Tank Earthquake Design Values as a Function of
Tank H/R Ratios1 .......................................................................................................................... 92
Table 21. Allowable Stress Design (ASD) Force Reduction and Importance Factors ................................. 93
Table 22. Spectral Accelerations SAi, SAc, and SAv as a Function of Natural Period of Vibration1,2,3 ...... 93
Table 23. Factors for Reducing Impulsive and Convective Overturning Moments at Height (z)
from the Base1 .............................................................................................................................. 98

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
Page 4 FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

1.0 SCOPE
There are four types of fire protection water tanks: gravity tanks, fire pump suction tanks, pressure tanks,
and break tanks. This data sheet provides recommendations and general information relating to the selection
and use of these fire protection tanks and their ancillary structures and equipment.
This document covers fire pump suction tanks constructed of steel, concrete or wood. For embankment
supported fabric tanks, see Data Sheet 3-4, Embankment-Supported Fabric Tanks, and for lined-earth
reservoirs, see Data Sheet 3-6, Lined Earth Reservoirs for Fire Protection. For fire pumps and their piping
also see Data Sheet 3-7, Fire Protection Pumps and, where the location is exposed to earthquakes, Data
Sheet 2-8, Earthquake Protection for Water-Based Fire Protection Systems.

1.1 Changes
October 2015. This data sheet has been extensively revised. The following major changes were made:
A. Added pressure tanks to Section 1.0 and deleted or relocated (to Section 2.1) items unrelated to the scope
of this data sheet.
B. Throughout Section 2.0, rearranged recommendations to clarify the type of tank to which they apply. Also
relocated recommendations from Section 3.0 that were not previously included in Section 2.0, and updated
recommendations to meet current requirements in FM Approvals Standard 4020, Approval Standard for
Steel Tanks for Fire Protection, and other applicable standards. Significant new Section 2.0 recommendations
that were relocated from Section 3.0 include the following:
1. Tank construction Recommendations 2.2.1.17 and 2.2.1.18 (previously in Section 3.1.1)
2. Section 2.2.5 foundation and anchor information (previously in Section 3.5.1)
3. Section 2.2.6 insulation and heating recommendations (previously in Sections 3.7 and 3.8)
4. Inspection and maintenance Recommendations 2.3.6, 2.3.7, 2.3.8 and 2.3.10 (previously in Section
3.1.6)
5. Section 2.3.13 heating system inspection/maintenance recommendations (previously in Sections 3.8
and 3.8.6).
C. Created Section 2.1, Introduction, with text relocated from Section 1.0.
D. Added design and inspection information for pressure tanks to Section 2.2.1, Section 2.3, and Section
3.3.
E. Consolidated and revised design information for break tanks in Section 2.2.2; also revised break tank
inspection/maintenance requirements in Section 2.3, and information in Section 3.2.
F. Added information on design loads applicable to all tanks to Section 2.2.3 and Section 3.1.3 (the information
is based on and parallels that given in FM Approval Standard 4020).
G. Revised recommendations on the coating of new steel water tanks and accessories in Section 2.2.4,
Section 3.1.6, Table 2, and Table 3 to match current American Water Works Association (AWWA)
requirements.
H. Revised the presentation of United States and Europe lowest one-day mean temperature maps (new
Figures 23 and 24) and modified text in Section 3.7.2 and Section 3.8 based on the new presentation. The
data in the Figure 23 and Figure 24 temperature maps is unchanged but is now presented in terms of
temperature zones rather than isothermal lines. Also revised Section 3.8.1 regarding insulation of tanks.
I. Added design criteria for tanks not covered by FM Approval Standard 4020 to Recommendation 2.2.1.2
and Section 3.1.8, and general information on suction and gravity tanks to Section 3.1.1. Revised information
regarding FM Approval of tanks to Recommendation 2.2.1.4 and Section 3.1.2. Added information on suction
tank flexible liners to Section 3.1.7 and tank foundations to Section 3.5.1.
J. Clarified suction and break tank anti-vortex plate locations and configurations in Recommendation 2.2.1.14,
Recommendation 2.2.2.7, and Section 3.6.5.
K. Updated Section 4.0, References, and Appendix A, Glossary.

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L. Added Appendix E as an aid for the preliminary design of cylindrical ground-supported steel suction tanks
prior to submittal of design documents to FM Approvals for review. Appendix E summarizes and clarifies
FM Approval Standard 4020 and AWWA design requirements for these tanks.
M. Tables 1, 2, and 3 and Figures 4 through 24 have been renumbered. Tables 2 and 3 and Figures 23 and
24 were also revised as noted above. Except for minor editorial changes, other renumbered tables and
figures have not been revised.
N. Added Tables 15 through 23, Figure 2, Figure 3, and Figures 25 through 31.
In addition to the above, various minor changes have been made as indicated in red text throughout the
document.

2.0 LOSS PREVENTION RECOMMENDATIONS

2.1 Introduction
Selection of a gravity tank is determined by the capacity and pressure required for both sprinklers and hose
streams for the design duration of a fire. Pressure tanks used as the sole water supply must likewise provide
adequate capacity, duration and pressure; however, pressure tanks may also be used in combination with
other water sources to meet these demands. Fire pump suction tanks are usually sized to meet the total water
demand for sprinklers and hose streams for the design duration of a fire.
Break tanks are used when a direct connection between a public water supply and a private fire protection
system is prohibited. They act as a physical separation between public water distribution systems and private
fire protection systems. Break tanks are not intended to have a capacity that meets the total sprinkler and hose
stream demand for the design duration. A fire pump takes suction from one end of the tank as the public
water supply automatically fills from the opposite end.
When purchasing a new fire protection tank, specify the type, capacity, and height; the roof live (or snow)
load, wind speed and FM Global earthquake zone (see Section 2.2.3); and the need for FM Approval.
Use FM Approved equipment, materials, and services whenever they are applicable and available. For a
list of products and services that are FM Approved, see the Approval Guide, an online resource of FM
Approvals (www.approvalguide.com).

2.2 Construction and Location

2.2.1 General
2.2.1.1 Design ground-supported, flat-bottom, cylindrical steel (bolted or welded) suction tanks, steel gravity
tanks, and their accessories per FM Approvals Standard 4020, Approval Standard for Steel Tanks for Fire
Protection (access available via www.fmglobal.com) and other standards referenced by that document (also
see Section 2.2.3 and Appendix E).
2.2.1.2 Design suction, break, and gravity tanks of other materials (e.g., concrete) using the general principles
of FM Approvals Standard 4020 and consensus standards applicable to the material being used (e.g.,
American Concrete Institute standards ACI 350, ACI 350.3 and ACI 318). Ensure tanks have roofs and are
designed to resist fluid loads, as well as snow, wind, earthquake and soil loads appropriate for the facility
location as outlined in Section 2.2.3.
2.2.1.3 Design pressure tanks per the requirements in NFPA 22, Standard for Water Tanks for Private Fire
Protection and the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Rules for the Construction of Pressure Vessels,
Section VIII, Division 1. Locate the pressure tank, and associated valves and piping, in a heated area, or
otherwise protect them from damage if subject to freezing temperatures.
2.2.1.4 Clients of FM Global should submit design documents (drawings, calculations, material cut sheets,
etc.) to FM Global for review and approval.
2.2.1.5 If the tank is one of multiple water supplies, maximize system reliability and hydraulic characteristics
by locating it at the end of the yard system opposite the other water source(s) if possible.
2.2.1.6 If possible, support gravity tanks on independent steel or concrete towers rather than on buildings,
making them isolated structures unaffected by the failure of walls or columns. Design supporting tower and

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
Page 6 FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

building structural members to carry all applicable loads from the tank (e.g., gravity loads from the tank and
contained water weights, earthquake forces, wind forces). Do not use wood members to support gravity
tanks.
2.2.1.7 Locate foundations for tanks as far as practicable from rivers likely to cause flooding, beaches likely
to be scoured by strong waves, active earth faults, and the edges of hills subject to erosion.
2.2.1.8 Choose a location where the tank support structure will not be seriously exposed by combustible
buildings or yard storage. If lack of yard room makes separation impracticable, protect exposed steel towers
by open sprinklers or fireproof (fire resistance rating of not less than 4 hours) portions of the tower that are
20 ft (6.1 m) or closer to combustible yard storage and buildings, and windows and doors from which a fire
may issue. If a tank structure is supported on a building of combustible occupancy, fireproof all steel columns
and struts.
2.2.1.9 To limit the possibility of damage to empty tanks (e.g., from wind loads or from shrinkage of wood
tank shells), complete the installation of all tank piping immediately after the tank is erected, and complete
inspections and repairs expeditiously, so it can be placed in service promptly.
2.2.1.10 To limit the possibility of debris entering the water and obstructing the piping, leave no waste material
inside tanks or in any space at the top of tanks during construction, inspection and repair.
2.2.1.11 To limit accumulation of sediment that could obstruct pipes and sprinklers, and to limit deterioration
of steel or wood tank shells from continuous wetting and drying cycles, water tanks for fire protection should
preferably not be used for other purposes. Where dual-service tanks cannot be avoided, do the following:
A. Equip suction tanks with a drain at floor level and equip gravity tanks with a blow-off connection
discharging through the riser base and piped outside. Do not make pipe connections through the gravity
tank riser shell near the bottom unless there is no possibility that the connection will freeze.
B. Provide plant service water pipe that is entirely separate from the fire protection piping and extends
inside the tank to an elevation below which an adequate quantity of water will be constantly retained for
fire protection. Plant service pipe inside the tank should preferably be brass (85% copper) or copper water
tubing, but may be steel if the pipe is larger than 3 in. (75 mm) diameter. Rigidly attach the plant service
piping to the tank at the pipe base, brace the pipe inside the tank near its top and at points not over 25
ft (7.6 m) apart, and provide any necessary expansion or flexible joints in the plant service water pipe
outside the tank.
2.2.1.12 Do not use tank structures to support signs, flagpoles, steel stacks, micro-wave dishes, cell towers,
or other structures unless specifically designed for this auxiliary purpose.
2.2.1.13 To avoid damage to the tank coating (paint) system, do not weld to the tank after its application.
2.2.1.14 Arrange pump suction piping for either horizontal shaft or vertical shaft turbine type pumps in
accordance with Data Sheet 3-7, Fire Protection Pumps. In FM Global 50-year through 500-year earthquake
zones, as shown in Data Sheet 1-2, Earthquakes, provide earthquake protection (e.g., pipe bracing and
flexible couplings, controller anchorage) in accordance with Data Sheet 2-8, Earthquake Protection for
Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. Provide an anti-vortex plate at the suction pipe inlet inside the tank
configured as specified in Section 3.6.5.
2.2.1.15 Make adequate provision in pipe connections to accommodate the settling that may occur upon
first filling the tank. Install flexible couplings or make final rigid connections after settling has taken place.
2.2.1.16 During construction of any tank, a licensed engineer representing the purchaser should inspect the
work throughout all construction phases. They should be authorized to reject materials and workmanship
not meeting specifications and the accepted project submittal. This engineers preliminary acceptance should
not prevent subsequent rejection if the structure is found to be defective. A final acceptance letter by a
licensed engineer representing the designer/manufacturer should be provided, confirming that the tank
installed conforms to the plans accepted during the plan review process and verified throughout the
construction of the tank.
2.2.1.17 Leak test the bottom of welded flat-bottom tanks after all joints in the lowest ring of the shell have
been welded, but before the bottom plate is painted, by applying air pressure or vacuum to the joints and
testing with a soap solution or other suitable material for the detection of leaks. Alternatively, joints may be
inspected by the magnetic-particle method to determine discontinuities.

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2.2.1.18 Make a visual joint inspection by the contractor and purchasers representative before and after
the tank is filled. Where the quality of welded or bolted joints is suspect, perform non-destructive testing (e.g.,
magnetic-particle inspection) as necessary. After construction is complete, fill the tank to its maximum
capacity and confirm that it is watertight to the satisfaction of the purchasers inspector. Make repairs as
necessary to correct leaking joints.

2.2.2 Break Tanks


2.2.2.1 Do not use a break tank if the maximum flow rate of the fire pumps (150% of rated flow) exceeds
the minimum rate (i.e., accounting for seasonal fluctuations, peak demand, etc.) that can be provided by the
public water supply.
2.2.2.2 Provide a separate break tank for each fire pump for exclusive use as a fire protection water supply.
Size the break tank so that the amount of water contained between the level 2 ft (0.6 m) above the pump
suction pipe anti-vortex plate and the level where the automatic fill valves begin to operate is sufficient to
supply pump operation at 150% of the pump rated capacity for 15 minutes.
2.2.2.3 Provide at least two redundant automatic and one easily accessible manual fill outlets for each break
tank. Size each fill outlet to independently supply makeup water at a rate not less than 150% of the pump
rated capacity. Configure automatic fill valves to open when the water level reaches 6 in. (150 mm) below the
full water line.
2.2.2.4 Automatic fill valves may be of the float, altitude, or other suitable design arranged for direct or pilot
operation. Float valves of modulating type are preferred. Size fill valves for break tanks such that suitable
pressure differentials for proper valve operation are maintained.
2.2.2.5 Provide pipe wells for the float valves extending to within 6 in. (150 mm) of the tank bottom, sized
at least 1 in. (25 mm) larger in diameter than the float, to ensure proper float valve operation and to facilitate
valve testing. When pipe wells are used, provide valved pipe well drains for each pipe well at least 4 in. (100
mm) in diameter, located no more than 2 ft (0.6 m) above the tank bottom, arranged to discharge to a safe,
frost-free location. For testing purposes and to make it impossible to close off the pipe wells, cut four 1.5 in.
(38 mm) holes in each pipe well located no more than 1 ft (0.3 m) above the pipe well drains. Opening the
drain valves will allow testing of float valves by draining water from the pipe wells faster than it can be
replenished through the four 1.5 in. (38 mm) holes in the pipe wells.
2.2.2.6 Follow the design and location criteria given below for automatic fill outlets. When Item A or Item B
cannot be met, demonstrate that pump operation is not affected by excessive turbulence or aeration. Where
pump performance is affected, provide baffling in the tank or other measures that are demonstrated to correct
the condition.
A. Locate fill outlets with a minimum centerline to centerline distance of 15 ft (4.6 m) horizontally from the
pump suction pipe, and preferably at the side of the tank opposite the pump suction pipe. (see Figure 1)
B. Size the fill outlets so that water velocity at the maximum makeup water flow rate does not exceed 20 ft/sec
(6.1 m/sec). Use Table 1 to determine the minimum fill pipe size.
C. Pipe the fill outlets so that makeup water enters the tank perpendicular to the tank water surface.
D. Terminate the fill outlets at a level at least equal to two fill pipe diameters above the water surface at the
top capacity level (TCL) or one-half of the fill pipe diameter above the top of the overflow outlet, whichever
is higher, unless a different a height is specified or required by the authority having jurisdiction.
2.2.2.7 Arrange pump suction piping and provide an anti-vortex plate per Recommendation 2.2.1.14.
2.2.2.8 Provide a tank water level indicator visible to the fire pump operator.
2.2.2.9 Provide a low water level alarm in the tank, connected to a constantly attended location, to indicate
when the tank water level drops to 9 in. (225 mm) below the full water line (signaling that more water is being
pumped from the tank than is being replenished and allowing time to open the manual fill valve or to alert
proper parties of this condition).

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
Page 8 FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

Tank overflow outlet to drain


Automatic float
control valve

trol
t con
Floa ve l Vortex
er le To
Wat plate
pump
To drain ell
ew
from pipe well Pip
Minimum 6
(152 mm)
Manual control valve k
(normally closed) Tan city
p a
ca m)
m) 4.6
76 t(
Fill supply line (0. 5f
in. m
1
t6 mu
2f ni
To drain Mi
from pipe well
Note: The tank is fully enclosed. The
top of the tank has been omitted to
show inside details.

Fig. 1 Break tank

Table 1. Break Tank Fill Pipe Sizes


Maximum Discharge at 20 ft/sec (6.1 m/sec) Largest Allowable Standard Size
Pipe Size Water Velocity Fire Pump
in. (mm) gal/min L/min gal/min L/min
4 (102) 780 2965 500 1890
5 (127) 1225 4635 750 2840
6 (152) 1760 6670 1000 3785
8 (203) 3130 11,860 2000 7570
10 (254) 4895 18,535 3000 11,355
12 (305) 7050 26,690 4500 17,035

2.2.2.10 Provide a tank overflow outlet that is capable of discharging to a safe, frost-free location an amount
of water no less than that which can be supplied by the fill mechanism. Size the overflow drainpipe at least
one diameter larger than the fill pipe size.
2.2.2.11 Provide a fire department pumper connection downstream of the break tank/fire pump installation.
2.2.2.12 Locate the break tank, tank fill valves, fire pump and associated piping in a heated area, or
otherwise protect them from damage if subject to freezing temperatures. Provide a tank heater if necessary.
Adequately protect water in float valve pipe wells, which may not be subject to convective heating if a tank
heater is used, and pilot lines on automatic fill valves from freezing.

2.2.3 Design Loads


Unless noted otherwise, design loads given in this section for atmospheric tanks are based on Allowable
Stress Design (ASD) and stresses calculated from these design loads are intended to be compared to ASD
stress limits.
2.2.3.1 Determine the basic load conditions for tank design based on the facility location and the location
and configuration of the tank within the facility. Design tanks and their foundations to withstand controlling
combinations of basic load conditions in accordance with the guidance in this section. Basic load conditions
include:
Dead load

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets Page 9

Fluid live load from contained water


Roof live (or snow) load
Wind load
Earthquake load
Loads due to the weight of soil and water in soil
2.2.3.2 Determine the dead load as the estimated weight of all permanent construction and fittings. Where
appropriate (e.g., buried tanks and foundations), include the estimated weight of soil resting on structural
elements as a dead load. Include dead load in all load combinations.
2.2.3.3 Determine the fluid live load from the weight of contained water assuming the tank is filled to the
top capacity level (TCL). Include in load combinations that portion of the fluid live load that creates the most
conservative condition for the item being designed.
2.2.3.4 Design for the larger of either the minimum roof live load or the roof snow load determined in this
section.
2.2.3.4.1 Assume the roof live (or snow) load acts on the horizontal projection of the tank roof. Include in
load combinations that portion of the roof live (or snow) load that creates the most conservative condition for
the item being designed.
2.2.3.4.2 Use a minimum uniform roof live load of 15 psf (0.75 kPa). Do not reduce this minimum roof live
load based on roof slope, tributary area, etc.
2.2.3.4.3 When the tank is a generic design that could be erected outdoors in any of several locations subject
to snowfall, use a minimum uniform roof snow load of 25 psf (1.2 kPa). Do not reduce this minimum generic
roof snow load based on roof slope, tributary area, etc. When the tank location is known the roof snow load
determined from Recommendation 2.2.3.4.4 can instead be used.
2.2.3.4.4 When the specific location of the tank is determined, calculate the uniform roof snow load for tanks
to be constructed outdoors from recommendations found in Data Sheet 1-54, Roof Loads for New
Construction, except that no reduction of the flat roof snow load should be taken where the roof slope is
less than 30. Design the tank, or show that a generic tank design is adequate, for the location-specific roof
snow load.
2.2.3.4.5 Where ladders, balconies, etc. are provided, design these and their attachments to the tank for
dead and live loads specified by the appropriate design standard (e.g., FM Approvals Standard 4020 or local
standards such as ASCE 7 and AWWA D100).
2.2.3.5 Design exterior above-grade tanks or parts of tanks for wind pressures as determined in this section.
2.2.3.5.1 Combine wind load with dead load, and with those portions of the roof live (or snow) load and the
fluid live load that create the most conservative condition for the item being designed. Wind loads do not
need to be combined with earthquake loads.
2.2.3.5.2 Determine design wind pressures based on FM Approvals Standard 4020, or, when not covered,
based on ASCE 7-05, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. Use an importance factor
(I) of 1.15 and a minimum wind Surface Roughness Exposure Category C. Base the design wind pressure
on the 3-second peak wind gust speed (V) for the facility location as given in Data Sheet 1-28, Wind Design,
except use a minimum wind speed of 90 mph (40.2 m/sec). Use a higher wind speed and/or Surface
Roughness Exposure Category D if appropriate for the site.
2.2.3.5.3 For the specific case of suction tanks that are 100 ft (30.5 m) or less in height and are supported
at grade, the uniform lateral (horizontal) wind pressure (Pw) may be determined per this section in lieu of
a more detailed analysis using Recommendation 2.2.3.5.2.
For Surface Roughness Exposure Category C sites having 3-second peak wind gust speed (V) of 97 mph
(43.4 m/sec) or less, and for Surface Roughness Exposure Category D sites having V of 90 mph (40.2 m/sec)
or less, use a minimum Pw, acting toward the tank on the vertical projected area, of 18 psf (0.862 kPa) when
the tank shell is cylindrical and 30 psf (1.44 kPa) when the tank walls are flat vertical plane surfaces (e.g.,
for a cube-shaped tank). Increase these minimum Pw values when the 3-second peak wind gust speeds
appropriate for the site are higher as follows:

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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A. Where the site is classified as Surface Roughness Exposure Category C and V is greater than 97 mph
(43.4 m/sec), multiply the minimum Pw values by a factor of (V)2/(97)2 where V is in mph (SI units:
[V]2/[43.4]2 where V is in m/sec).
B. Where the site is classified as Surface Roughness Exposure Category D and V is greater than 90 mph
(40.2 m/sec), multiply the minimum Pw values by a factor of (V)2/(90)2 where V is in mph (SI units:
[V]2/[40.2]2 where V is in m/sec).
2.2.3.6 Design tanks located in FM Global 50-year through 500-year earthquake zones, as shown in Data
Sheet 1-2, Earthquakes, for earthquake forces as determined in this section. Tanks located in FM Global
>500-year zones do not require earthquake design.
2.2.3.6.1 Include in earthquake load combinations the effects of gravity, lateral (horizontal) earthquake
accelerations and vertical earthquake accelerations acting on the following weights:
A. The total dead weight of the tank.
B. The weight of contained water, assuming the water is at the TCL. Where the tank bottom is supported
at or below grade, determine horizontal earthquake design forces considering the contained water to be
composed of an impulsive fluid mass near the base that moves as a rigid body with the tank and a
convective (sloshing) fluid mass near the free surface. For other tank configurations (e.g., gravity [elevated]
tanks on a dedicated structure), horizontal earthquake design forces may be determined assuming the
entire fluid mass acts as a rigid mass (i.e., in an impulsive mode) unless otherwise allowed by a consensus
standard.
C. Include roof live (or snow) load by either: (1) assuming 25% of the roof live (or snow) load is present
when determining the earthquake base shear, and overturning moment but using none of this live (or
snow) load to resist these, or (2) performing an analysis using 100% of the roof live (or snow) load to both
determine and resist base shear and overturning moment, and a second analysis using no roof live (or
snow) load.
D. Where the tank is buried, include earthquake effects of soils as required by the geotechnical engineers
recommendations.
Earthquake loads do not need to be combined with wind loads.
2.2.3.7 For buried tanks, establish design forces resulting from the weight of soil and water in soil as required
by the geotechnical engineers recommendations. Such forces may be vertical downward (e.g., from soil
on top of the tank), lateral (e.g., soil/water pressure against tank walls) or vertical upward (e.g., buoyancy
in water-saturated soil).

2.2.4 Coating New Steel Water Tanks and Steel Accessories for Corrosion Protection
2.2.4.1 Protect interior and exterior steel surfaces of water tanks in accordance with AWWA D102 (for welded
tanks) and AWWA D103 (for bolted tanks), with modifications as permitted in FM Approvals Standard 4020.
The editions of AWWA D102 and AWWA D103 listed in Section 4.3 have been used in part for the
recommendations that follow.
2.2.4.2 Use interior and exterior lead-free coating systems having at least an eighteen month documented
history of satisfactory service in conditions similar to those anticipated at the facility. For interior wet surfaces
(i.e., exposed to the stored water or its vapor) choose coating systems that are suitable for submerged
service, resistant to high humidity and alternating wetting and drying, and chemically resistant to the stored
water. Apply all coating systems as directed by the manufacturer.
2.2.4.3 Protect plates of bolted steel tanks in accordance with the following requirements.
2.2.4.3.1 Provide a factory-applied hot-dip galvanized, glass fused-to-steel, thermoset liquid (epoxy) or
thermoset powder (epoxy) coating system on interior and exterior steel surfaces. Apply the coating system
to the underside of steel bottom plates of ground-supported tanks unless this is not possible, in which case
instead provide a treated sand base per Recommendation 2.2.4.5 for corrosion protection.
2.2.4.3.2 In preparation for coating, grit-blast all steel surfaces in accordance with Society for Protective
Coatings (SSPC)/NACE International (NACE) SSPC-SP10/NACE No. 2, Near White Metal Blast Cleaning.
Where allowed by AWWA D103, surfaces may instead be prepared by pickling according to SSPC-SP8.

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets Page 11

2.2.4.3.3 Inspect steel panels before and after field erection. Replace panel sections where damaged or
scratched coatings cannot be adequately repaired according to the manufacturers specifications.
2.2.4.4 Protect plates of welded steel tanks in accordance with the following requirements.
2.2.4.4.1 For interior wet and dry surfaces, use a coating system consistent with those shown in Table 2.
2.2.4.4.2 For exterior weather-exposed surfaces, use a coating system consistent those shown in Table 3.
Where a tank is to be insulated, attaching the insulation directly over the primed tank is acceptable provided
the primer is either an organic or inorganic zinc-rich primer and the insulation is protected such that it is not
exposed to water and does not retain moisture.
2.2.4.4.3 Leave the underside of the bottom plate bare and provide a treated sand base per Recommendation
2.2.4.5 for corrosion protection. For small tanks an acceptable alternative would be to apply an appropriate
coating system (2 coats minimum) that is compatible with the base material supporting the tank (e.g.,
sand/lime mixture) after the bottom plate has been completely welded. Where a coating system is applied
to the underside of the bottom plate, the plate must be completely covered with no voids.
2.2.4.4.4 The primer must be compatible with the finish coating. The tank may be field primed or shop primed.
In the latter case, eliminate or reduce shop-applied primer within 4 in. (100 mm) of areas to be welded where
weld quality may be affected.
2.2.4.4.5 In preparation for the prime coat, grit-blast interior wet surfaces in accordance with SSPC-SP10/
NACE No. 2, Near White Metal Blast Cleaning, and grit-blast interior dry surfaces and exterior surfaces in
accordance with SSPC-SP6/NACE No. 3, Commercial Blast Cleaning providing a final surface profile
appropriate for the coating system as recommended by the coating manufacturer.
2.2.4.4.6 After welding shop-primed tanks, clean areas where the primer was not applied or has been
damaged in accordance with Recommendation 2.2.4.4.5 and apply the coating system primer. Alternatively,
the areas can be cleaned per SSPC-SP11 (Power Tool Cleaning to Bare Metal) for interior wet surfaces
and per SSPC-SP15 (Commercial Grade Power Tool Cleaning) for interior dry surfaces and exterior surfaces.
2.2.4.4.7 Before applying the finish coat(s) on shop-primed tanks, clean surfaces of dirt, oil and other foreign
materials. If required by the manufacturers instructions, scarify the shop-primed surfaces by a method
acceptable to the manufacturer (e.g., SSPC-SP7/NACE No. 4, Brush-Off Blast Cleaning).
2.2.4.5 For ground-supported steel tanks, where the underside of the steel bottom is not coated for corrosion
protection, provide an oiled sand or a lime/sand layer under the bottom plate. Provide a minimum 4 in. (100
mm) thick treated sand layer above compacted grade or a minimum 1 in. (25 mm) thick treated sand layer
above a reinforced concrete slab. See Section 3.1.6 for more information.
2.2.4.6 Other coating systems having adequately documented test data, service history and toxicological
information may be considered where they are generally equivalent to the generic systems given in Sections
2.2.4.3 and 2.2.4.4. However, in no case should wax coatings or thick (>20 mils [>0.51 mm] dry film thickness
[DFT]) coatings of coal tar or other bituminous/asphaltic material be used on interior wet surfaces.
2.2.4.7 Do not coat tanks outdoors during wet weather or when surfaces are damp. Do not apply coatings
when the temperature is below 50F (10C), unless otherwise allowed by the coating manufacturer.
2.2.4.8 As soon as the paint dries thoroughly, rinse and partially fill the tank, and flush the water through a
drain to prevent debris from entering the main riser or suction line.

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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Table 2. Inside Coating Systems (ICS) for Interior Welded Tank Surfaces
Intermediate and/or Total DFT mils1
Coating System Primer Coat Finish Coat(s) (mm)
ICS-1 1 coat of two-component epoxy primer 1 coat of two-component epoxy 8.0
(2 coats) (0.20)
ICS-2 1 coat of two-component epoxy primer 2 coats of two-component epoxy 12.0
(3 coats) (0.30)
ICS-3 1 coat of two-component epoxy primer 1 coat of high solids (96%) two- 20-21
(1 or 2 coats) or zinc-rich primer (optional may be component epoxy (0.51-0.53)
omitted)
ICS-4 1 coat of primer compatible with finish 1 coat of two-component, 100% solids 25-26
(1 or 2 coats) coat (optional may be omitted) fast-setting polyurethane or polyurea (0.64-0.66)
ICS-5 1 coat of zinc-rich primer 2 coats of two-component epoxy 10.0
(3 coats) (0.25)
1
DFT = dry film thickness; 1 mil. = 0.001 in. (0.0254 mm).

Table 3. Outside Coating Systems (OCS) for Exterior, Weather-Exposed Welded Tank Surfaces
Total DFT mils1
CoatingSystem Primer Coat Intermediate and/or Finish Coat(s) (mm)
OCS-1 1 or 2 coats of red iron oxide, zinc 2 coats of aluminum alkyd or 2 coats 4.0-6.5
(3 or 4 coats) oxide, oil and alkyd primer, without of gloss alkyd enamel or 1 (0.10-0.17)
lead or chromate pigments intermediate coat of alkyd and 1 finish
coat of high-gloss silicone-alkyd
OCS-2 1 coat of single-component moisture- 2 coats of single-component moisture- 6.5
(3 coats) cure polyurethane zinc-rich primer cure polyurethane (0.17)
OCS-3 1 coat of zinc-rich primer 2 coats of single-component water- 6.0
(3 coats) based industrial acrylic or modified (0.15)
acrylic emulsion
OCS-4 1 coat of zinc-rich primer 1 intermediate coat of two-component 6.5
(3 coats) aliphatic polyurethane and 1 finish (0.17)
coat of two-component aliphatic
fluorourethane
OCS-5 1 coat of two-component epoxy 1 intermediate coat of two-component 6.0
(3 coats) primer epoxy and 1 finish coat of two- (0.15)
component aliphatic polyurethane
OCS-6 1 coat of zinc-rich primer 1 intermediate coat of two-component 6.0
(3 coats) epoxy and 1 finish coat of two- (0.15)
component aliphatic polyurethane
OCS-7 1 coat of two-component water-based 1 intermediate coat of two-component 6.0
(3 coats) epoxy primer water-based epoxy and 1 finish coat (0.15)
of two-component water-based
aliphatic polyurethane
1
DFT = Dry film thickness; 1 mil. = 0.001 in. (0.0254 mm).

2.2.5 Tank Foundations and Foundation Anchors


2.2.5.1 Determine soil conditions, such as bearing values or pile requirements, at foundation locations based
upon subsurface investigation. Where soil conditions appear unfavorable, and at all elevated tank locations,
at least one deep test boring should be made by the foundation contractor.
2.2.5.2 Design and detail foundations and foundation anchors to resist the maximum shear, compression,
and tension forces determined using Section 2.2.3 loads, FM Approvals Standard 4020 and the following
recommendations.
2.2.5.2.1 Locate tops of foundations 6 in. (150 mm) above adjacent grade and slope the surrounding grade
away from the tank for positive drainage.
2.2.5.2.2 Locate bottoms of foundations below the extreme frost depth but not less than 12 in. (300 mm)
below adjacent grade (e.g., for a mat foundation). Unless otherwise allowed by a geotechnical engineer, use
a minimum ring wall size of 10 in. (250 mm) wide by 3 ft. (910 mm) high with its bottom at least 2.5 ft. (0.8
m) below grade, and locate the bottom of piers for tower columns at least 4 ft (1.2 m) below grade.

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
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2.2.5.2.3 Provide foundation concrete with a minimum compressive strength of 3000 psi (21 MPa).
2.2.5.2.4 Reinforce foundations as required to resist gravity, wind, earthquake and earth pressure forces,
but not less than the minimum required to resist temperature and shrinkage per ACI 318, Building Code
Requirements for Structural Concrete and Commentary. For ring walls, provide minimum vertical
reinforcement of 0.0015 times the cross sectional area on a horizontal plane, and horizontal reinforcement
of 0.0025 times the cross sectional area on a vertical plane.
2.2.5.2.5 Project foundations at least 3 in. (75 mm) beyond column bearing plates or the tank shell. Where
foundation anchors are required, extend the foundation at least 9 in. (230 mm) beyond the tank shell.
2.2.5.2.6 When foundation anchors are required to resist wind or earthquake uplift forces, analyze the
foundation to verify that there is adequate weight or other means (e.g., pile friction capacity) to resist the
upward tensile load in the anchors.
2.2.5.2.7 Ensure foundation anchors that resist earthquake uplift of ground-supported cylindrical steel suction
tanks meet the following minimum requirements:
A. Maximum spacing of 10 ft (3.0 m) between anchors measured along the tank circumference.
B. Anchors are bolts (not straps) with a diameter of at least in. (19 mm).
C. Bolts have heads, nuts, or welded plates (not hooks) at their embedded end.
D. Bolts extend not closer than 3 in. (75 mm) from the bottom of the foundation
E. Bolts are protected from corrosion (a design accounting for corrosion may be acceptable).
F. Bolts extend a sufficient distance above the foundation to allow them to be connected to steel chairs
on the tank.
G. Bolts have a threaded portion that projects above the top of the steel chair with sufficient free length
of thread to fully engage the nut and allow peening of the threads (or, alternatively, to fully engage a nut
and lock nut).
Use of post-installed concrete anchors for earthquake uplift anchors is strongly discouraged but may be
considered if they meet the requirements in Data Sheet 1-2 and are allowed by FM Approvals.
2.2.5.2.8 Shear anchorage may consist of post-installed concrete anchors. In FM Global 50-year through
500-year earthquake zones, these anchors must meet the requirements in Data Sheet 1-2.
2.2.5.2.9 Wind uplift anchorage may consist of embedded bolts (similar to Recommendation 2.2.5.2.7),
embedded steel anchor straps (minimum 0.25 in. [6.4 mm] thick) or post-installed concrete anchors. The
anchorage should be protected against corrosion and have a maximum spacing of 10 ft (3.0 m) between
anchors (measured along the tank circumference for cylindrical tanks).

2.2.6 Protecting Tanks and Tank Piping Against Freezing


2.2.6.1 Base the need for protection of tanks and their associated piping from freezing on regional data for
the lowest one-day, mean temperatures (LODMT) that have occurred and, when available, the 30F (-1.1C)
normal daily minimum temperature (NDMT) line. Use local data where known conditions exist that are more
severe than the regional data indicate (e.g., in mountainous areas). LODMT and NDMT data are available
for the United States and Canada in Fig. 23. LODMT data are available for Europe in Fig. 24. In other
locations, use available similar data for the region.
2.2.6.2 Ensure heating and insulation, when required by the following recommendations, are adequate to
maintain the water in the tank or piping at a minimum temperature of 42F (5.6C) on the coldest design day.
Protect insulation from weather and deterioration.
2.2.6.3 At locations where the LODMT is 20F (-6.7C) or colder (e.g., in a 20F [-6.7C] zone or colder in
Fig. 23), provide a frost proof casing or insulation for pipe risers less than 3 ft (0.91 m) in diameter that are
exposed or within pedestal-supported tanks, and for exposed suction tank piping. The insulating value (R
value) should be adequate to satisfy Recommendation 2.2.6.2, but not less than the following:
LODMT -20F (-28.9C): R 7 hr-ft2-F/Btu (1.23 m2-C/W)
-20F (-28.9C) < LODMT < 0F (-17.8C): R 5.5 hr-ft2-F/Btu (0.97 m2-C/W)

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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0F (-17.8C) LODMT 20F (-6.7C): R 3.5 hr-ft2-F/Btu (0.62 m2-C/W)


2.2.6.4 At locations where the LODMT is 15F (-9.4C) or colder (e.g., in a 15F [-9.4C] zone or colder in
Fig. 23), heat exposed pipe risers less than 3 ft (0.91 m) in diameter for gravity tanks and exposed piping for
pump suction tanks.
2.2.6.5 At locations where the LODMT is 5F (-15C) or colder (in Fig. 23 and Fig. 24 this corresponds to
all 5F (-15C) and colder zones) heat pump suction tanks, and steel gravity tanks and their risers. Also
provide heating at locations with LODMT between 5F and 15F (-15C and -9.4C) when they are on the cold
side of the 30F (-1.1C) NDMT line. Insulation may be installed to conserve heat.
2.2.6.6 Protect piping inside unheated buildings where freezing may occur using frost proof casings, insulation
having an R value of 3.5 hr-ft2-F/Btu (0.62 m2-C/W) or more, and/or heating.
2.2.6.7 Provide a low-water-temperature alarm set at 40F (4.4C) and connected to a central station
supervisory service or a continuously manned local control room.

2.3 Operation and Maintenance


2.3.1 Keep the tank full, or in the case of pressure tanks at their design capacity level, at all times.
2.3.2 Inspect, test and maintain the automatic fire pump installation in accordance with Data Sheet 2-81,
Fire Protection System Inspection, Testing and Maintenance and Other Fire Loss Prevention Inspections.
2.3.3 Maintain break tank automatic fill valves in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations. Test
break tank automatic fill valves monthly by opening the pipe well drain valve and flowing enough water until
the automatic fill valve opens fully. Annually verify that the rate of inflow from break tank automatic and
manual valves at least equals that specified in Recommendation 2.2.2.1.
2.3.4 For pressure tanks, inspect the water level and air pressure/air pressure source weekly if not equipped
with supervised water level alarms and air pressure alarms, and monthly if these alarms are provided.
2.3.5 Inspect, test and maintain all other tank-related fire protection system control valves and equipment
in accordance with current guidelines in Data Sheet 2-81.
2.3.6 Make a thorough visual inspection annually of all systems and equipment that can be accessed without
draining the tank, conducting an underwater evaluation or disassembly: tank; tower; piping; control and check
valves; heating systems; water level indicator; pressure, temperature and water level alarms; expansion
joint; frost proof casing; liner; insulation; overflow and all other accessories. Correct any deficiencies. Inspect
and clean screened or open vents in the roofs of tanks annually.
2.3.7 On dual-service tanks taking water from a filtered source, and all tanks taking water from an unfiltered
source, open the drain at least annually to flush out sediment. If the water is from an unfiltered source, more
frequent flushing may be needed, depending upon the amount of sediment.
2.3.8 Examine all exterior coatings at least every two years. Where the exterior of the tank is insulated,
partially expose the tank to adequately assess corrosion and insulation, replacing insulation afterwards.
Clean, prepare the surface and repaint/recoat steel and iron work, and steel tank exteriors, as necessary to
prevent corrosion.
2.3.9 Drain tanks and thoroughly inspect the interior for signs of pitting, corrosion, spalling, rot, coating failure,
debris, aquatic growth, liner failure, insulation failure or water saturation, etc. at an interval not exceeding
five years. Inspect interior piping and anti-vortex plates. Inspect tank floors for evidence of voids beneath.
Clean the tank interior and repair any deterioration as necessary and repaint/recoat the tank interior if needed
to prevent corrosion. Replace interior liners and insulation if required. Where paint is exposed to unusually
corrosive water or atmospheric conditions, or where the 5-year inspection indicates deterioration of the tank
interior is occurring, more frequent inspection may be necessary. An underwater evaluation after removing
the silt from the tank floor may be acceptable to assess certain items depending on tank features.
2.3.10 Whenever the tank is to be drained, take the applicable precautions when fire protection is out of
service (impaired) as discussed in Data Sheet 2-81, Fire Protection System Inspection, Testing and
Maintenance and Other Fire Loss Prevention Inspections. In addition, if wind anchorage is not present,
restrain the empty tank as necessary to resist wind forces.

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
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2.3.11 During freezing weather, keep a gravity tank, its supporting structure, and building roofs under it free
of ice, and make daily (or more frequent if conditions warrant) checks of the temperature inside pressure
tank enclosures, and other enclosures where freezing of pipes, etc. may occur, to confirm they are no less
than 40F (4.4C).
2.3.12 If the water in a water tank is frozen, provide an adequate emergency water supply for the fire protection
system and follow guidelines in Section 3.8.8.
2.3.13 Inspect and maintain tank heating systems per the following requirements.
2.3.13.1 During freezing weather, make daily (or more frequent if conditions warrant) checks to confirm that
the cold water temperature is being maintained at a minimum of 42F (5.6C), indicating that the heating
system is operating properly.
2.3.13.2 Flush out the water circulating pipe and heater in the fall before the heating season starts, and about
monthly during the heating season. After the first monthly flushing during the heating season, increase (to
not more than two months) or decrease the flushing time interval depending upon the rate of sedimentation.
After flushing, make sure that all valves are wide open, the drain valve closed, and the tank filled. If the tank
level is checked by overflowing, do not let ice form on the tank or tower.
2.3.13.3 In the fall before the heating season starts, test the tank heating system; check the accuracy of
thermometers, pressure gauges, and low water temperature alarms; as well as the adjustment of relief valves,
steam regulators, pressure-reducing valves, thermostats, and safety pilots.
2.3.13.4 At the end of the heating season, clean and overhaul heaters, traps, strainers, and other accessories
as necessary. Take apart and renew gaskets of steam, electric, and hot water heaters. Wire brush the steel
or iron heating surfaces of coal, fuel oil, or gas-fired heaters, and coat with oil. Follow manufacturers
instructions regarding lubrication. Have gas- or oil-fired heaters serviced and inspected by a service
organization during the summer.
2.3.13.5 Every five years, or at the interval recommended by the manufacturer, perform major inspection
and maintenance on heaters, steam coils, etc. (e.g., clean pipes, replace badly corroded pipe) per the
manufacturers specifications.

3.0 SUPPORT FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

3.1 Suction and Gravity Tanks

3.1.1 General
Fire pump suction tank capacities vary widely from less than 10,000 gal (37.9 m3) to 1,000,000 gal (3,790
m3) of water or more. Suction tanks are usually of welded or bolted steel construction. They are most
commonly ground-supported, essentially flat-bottomed and cylindrical with a roof of steel or aluminum. The
roof may be supported solely on the perimeter shell of the tank (also known as a self-supported roof), or may
have one or more interior columns (also known as a supported roof).
Ideally, cylindrical ground-supported steel suction tanks, see Fig. 25 in Appendix E, have a bottom plate to
which the shell plates are attached; connections between adjacent steel plates are welded or bolted.
Foundations are discussed below, but a common configuration is a reinforced concrete ring beam that
supports the tank shell and also retains compacted gravel and sand on which the tank bottom rests. The tank
can also be supported by other types of foundations such as a reinforced concrete mat.
Suction tanks are less commonly constructed of aluminum, wood, reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete
or embankment-supported fabric. Rectangular, bolted pressed steel tanks (see Figure 2), typically designed
with little consideration of wind forces/anchorage and without consideration of seismic forces/anchorage,
are used in some parts of the world.
Some cylindrical steel or wood suction tanks have no bottom plate but instead retain the water using an
interior rubber (e.g., butyl or EDPM) or PVC liner (see Section 3.1.7). The liner typically rests on one or more
layers of material (e.g., polyester or industrial felt) that is lapped a short way up the shell. Some of these
tanks have interior insulation (see Section 3.8.1) between the liner and the tank shell (which can be acceptable
if installed in accordance with FM Approvals Standard 4020).

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Tanks lacking bottom plates are undesirable in earthquake zones (see Section 3.1.3.6). Where a bottom
plate does not exist, the tank must be anchored to resist both shear (sliding) and overturning. If this anchorage
is not provided, sliding of the tank can break pipe connections and damage the liner. The liner can also be
damaged as the tank shell lifts from overturning. Figure 3 shows a wood suction tank after an earthquake
in Christchurch, New Zealand that lacked both a bottom plate and anchorage. The tank has displaced, piping
is broken and the liner failed.
Gravity, or elevated, tanks are most commonly made of welded steel plate supported on steel or, occasionally,
reinforced concrete towers. They are available in many capacities and shapes that vary by manufacturer.
Small tanks have capacities of 200,000 gallons (757 m3) or less while large capacity tanks are available to
contain more than 500,000 gallons (1,890 m3) of water. Figures 4 and 5 show examples of gravity tanks.

3.1.2 FM Approval
Fire protection tanks are FM Approved as either gravity tanks or pump suction tanks. Information on FM
Approved tanks is contained in the Approval Guide, an online resource of FM Approvals, in the Fire Protection
Section. Few gravity tanks are FM Approved, but many suction tanks are FM Approved in a variety of sizes
and are broken down into four categories:
Welded Steel
Bolted Steel
Bolted Aluminum
Embankment-supported Fabric (see Data Sheets 3-4 and 3-6)
FM Approvals Standard 4020, Approval Standard for Steel Tanks for Fire Protection, covers bolted and welded
steel tanks (see also Appendix E in this data sheet). The design provisions in this standard are largely similar
to those in several American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards, including: AWWA D100, Welded
Carbon Steel Tanks for Water Storage; AWWA D103, Factory-Coated Bolted Carbon Steel Tanks for Water
Storage; and AWWA D102, Coating Steel Water-Storage Tanks. However, the provisions of FM Approvals
Standard 4020 vary to some degree from the AWWA standards, so a tank designed to the AWWA standards
may not completely conform to FM Approvals requirements.
The Approval Guide provides information regarding the roof live (or snow) load, the wind speed and exposure,
and the FM Global earthquake zone per Data Sheet 1-2, Earthquakes, for which each tank is FM Approved.
With respect to earthquake, the tanks are listed for the most hazardous FM Global earthquake zone in which
the tank can be used. FM Global earthquake zones from the most to the least hazardous are 50-year,
100-year, 250-year, 500-year, and >500-year. Therefore, tanks listed as Approved for FM Global 50-year
earthquake zones can be used in any FM Global earthquake zone; a tank Approved for FM Global 100-year
zones can be used in any FM Global earthquake zone except 50-year, etc. If the listing does not specify
an earthquake zone, the tank can only be used in FM Global >500-year earthquake zones.

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Fig. 2. Pressed steel suction tank

3.1.3 Design Loads

3.1.3.1 General
The information in this section is based on FM Approvals Standard 4020 (see also Appendix E). Although
that standard primarily covers welded and bolted steel suction tanks, design loads for other types of tanks will
be similar.
Tanks must be designed for several basic load conditions either individually or, more commonly, in a limited
number of appropriate load combinations. At a minimum, tanks must resist dead, fluid live and roof live loads.
Where snow loads are greater, they are used in lieu of the roof live load. Most tanks must also be designed
for wind load, tanks in FM Global 50-year through 500-year earthquake zones must be designed for
earthquake forces, and buried tanks or foundations may need to be designed for earth and/or groundwater
pressures. The specific loads depend on the facility location (e.g., to determine the controlling wind speed
and FM Global earthquake zone) as well as the tanks configuration (e.g., if it is an elevated tank, a
ground-supported suction tank or a buried tank) and location within that facility (e.g., whether it is located
inside or outside of a building).
The load combinations that control the design of various tank elements can vary. Cylindrical ground-supported
steel suction tank shell plate thicknesses, for example, may be controlled at some heights by the tension
forces resulting from hydrostatic pressure, at others by the wind forces on the shell of an empty tank and at
still others by the vertical loads resulting from gravity loads combined with earthquake overturning of a full
tank.

3.1.3.2 Dead Load


Roof dead loads, combined with the greater of the roof live or snow load, are used to design the roof gravity
system (e.g., radial beams). Dead loads are also included in load combinations for design of vertical tank
elements (e.g., columns, shell plates). The tank dead load (roof, shell, bottom plate, etc.) can resist some or

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Fig. 3. Earthquake damage to a wood suction tank lacking anchorage and bottom plate

all of the sliding (via friction of a ground-supported suction tank bottom plate against the soil or concrete
mat) and overturning caused by wind or earthquake forces, and is included in the mass subject to earthquake
accelerations.
Dead loads typically include the weight of tank elements, but may in some cases include the weight of soil
(e.g., soil on top of foundations that helps to resist uplift from overturning). The unit weight of steel is 490
pcf (7850 kg/m3), and typical unit weights of 150 pcf (2400 kg/m3) for concrete and 30 pcf (480 kg/m3) for wood
can be assumed unless better information is available. Soil dead weights vary.

3.1.3.3 Fluid Live Load from Contained Water


The tank should be considered to be either empty or full, depending on which creates a more conservative
condition for the item being designed. For example, assuming the tank is empty is usually more conservative
when designing above-ground tank anchorage resisting wind forces or anchorage against buoyancy forces for
buried tanks. Assuming the tank is full is more conservative when designing shell plates for hydrostatic or
earthquake forces. The unit weight of water is taken as 62.4 pcf (1000 kg/m3).

3.1.3.4 Roof Live and Snow Loads


Minimum tank roof live loads in other standards are commonly 15 psf (0.75 kPa) where there is no possibility
of snow and 25 psf (1.2 kPa) where snow may occur. Since roof snow loads can vary widely and be much
higher or lower than these minimums, this data sheet references Data Sheet 1-54, Roof Loads for New
Construction, for determination of appropriate roof snow loads.
From Data Sheet 1-54, flat roof (slopes less than 5 or a rise:run ratio of about 1:12) snow loads (Pf) are
80% to 100% of the 50-year mean recurrence interval (MRI) ground snow load (Pg). The Pf value will apply
for most tanks because this data sheet allows a reduction only where the roof slope is 30 degrees (rise:run
ratio of approximately 7:12) or more. When the roof slope is 30 degrees or more, the Data Sheet 1-54
reduction factors assuming a cold roof may be used (reductions allowed by Data Sheet 1-54 for lesser slopes

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Fig. 4. All-welded steel tank, steel column supported, with large steel-plate riser and radiator heater

should not be used for tanks). Slippery surfaces can only be assumed where the roof surface is metal
configured such that the snow can slide off unobstructed (e.g., metal deck spanning between radial beams
with flutes essentially parallel to the tank shell would not qualify).
A generically-designed tank will be adequate when the actual 50-year MRI ground snow load (Pg) does not
exceed the assumed minimum roof live (or snow) load. Where Pg is greater than the assumed minimum
roof live (or snow) load an analysis is needed to determine whether the actual roof snow load exceeds the
assumed roof live (or snow) load, and, if so, what modifications are needed.
Roof live (or snow) load is typically not included in wind load combinations since it would provide additional
resistance to sliding (via friction between the bottom plate of a ground-supported tank against the soil or
concrete mat) or overturning. Part of the roof live (or snow) load is included in earthquake load combinations
as specified in Recommendation 2.2.3.6.1.

3.1.3.5 Wind Loads


3.1.3.5.1 General
Lateral (horizontal) wind forces cause sliding and overturning of the tank. Anchorage may be needed where
these exceed the sliding friction and moment that can be resisted by the tank dead load. Also, stiffeners
may be needed on thin shell plates to resist wind design pressures, and compression stresses in shell plates
from wind overturning forces must be added to those resulting from gravity loads.
The controlling load combinations for wind forces generally will not include roof live (or snow) loads nor fluid
live loads (i.e., the tank is empty) since these tend to increase the stability of the tank.

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3.1.3.5.2 Determining Lateral Wind Pressures


Lateral wind pressures are based on 3-second peak wind gust speeds given in Data Sheet 1-28, Wind Design.
If other wind data are used and are reported using a different unit of wind speed (e.g., fastest-mile or
10-minute), these must be converted to equivalent 3-second gust speeds using guidance in Data Sheet 1-28.
A minimum wind speed of 90 mph (145 km/hr or 40 m/sec) and minimum Surface Roughness Exposure
Category C (open terrain) are specified for Approved tanks because they are not overly conservative
(minimum wind design pressures will control most designs - see below) and will allow the tank to be used
or re-used within a very large geographical area without redesign. However, higher wind design pressures
may be needed for sites having faster wind speeds and/or where Surface Roughness Exposure Category
D (5000 ft [1524 m] of open water, smooth mud flats, ice or similar) is appropriate. Using Surface Roughness
Exposure Category B (2600 ft [792 m] of terrain with numerous large closely-spaced obstructions such as
urban or wooded areas) is not allowed. See Data Sheet 1-28 for more information on surface roughness
exposure categories.
The uniform wind design pressure (Pw), which is applied toward the tank on the projected area (Af) on a
vertical plane (e.g., for a cylindrical flat bottom ground-supported tank, Af is equal to the tank height times
the tank diameter), is determined in FM Approvals Standard 4020 from the equations:

U.S. Customary Units SI Units


Pw = qzGCf 30Cf Pw = qzGCf 1.436Cf
qz = 0.00256KzIV2 qz = 0.000613KzIV2
Where:
Pw = uniform design wind pressure, psf (kN/m2 [kPa])
G = gust-effect factor (taken as 1.0)
Cf = force coefficient.
qz = wind velocity pressure evaluated at height z of the centroid of the area Af, psf (kN/m2 [kPa])
Kz = wind velocity pressure exposure coefficient evaluated at height z
I = Importance factor (taken as 1.15)
V = Design 3-second peak gust wind speed, miles/hr (m/sec)
AWWA D100 and D103 and ASCE 7 are very similar to, but not exactly the same as, FM Approvals Standard
4020; ASCE 7 is more complex. A detailed analysis in accordance with ASCE 7-05 (do not use ASCE 7-10)
to determine wind pressures should be used for situations that fall outside of those given in FM Approvals
Standard 4020.
3.1.3.5.3 Wind Forces on Typical Ground-Supported Suction Tanks
This section applies only to the common case of a flat-bottom, ground-supported tank with a height of 100
ft [30.5 m] or less (i.e., the distance z from grade to the centroid of the vertical projected area [Af] is 50 ft [15.2
m] or less). For these tanks the values noted below from FM Approvals Standard 4020 are applicable.
Gust-effect factor: G = 1.0
Importance factor: I = 1.15
Force coefficient
Cf = 0.6 (cylindrical tank shells)
Cf = 1.0 (tank walls are vertical plane surfaces, e.g. a cube-shaped tank)
Wind velocity pressure exposure coefficient evaluated at height z
Kz = 1.09 (Surface Roughness Exposure Category C)
Kz = 1.27 (Surface Roughness Exposure Category D
Using the above values, the minimum uniform design wind pressure (Pw) can be calculated as:
Pw minimum = 30Cf (psf) (SI units: 1.436Cf kPa):
Cylindrical tank shell, Pw minimum = 18 psf (0.862 kPa)
Vertical plane tank wall surfaces, Pw minimum = 30 psf (1.44 kPa)
A minimum design 3-second peak gust wind speed (Vmin) can be determined that corresponds to the Pw
minimum values above. When the actual wind speed (V) at the facility is more than Vmin, the actual Pw can

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be determined by multiplying Pw minimum by a factor of V2/(Vmin)2. The values of Vmin vary with the value
of the wind velocity pressure exposure coefficient (Kz):
Surface Roughness Exposure Category C
U.S. Customary units: Vmin = 96.7 mph
SI units: Vmin = 43.23 m/sec

Surface Roughness Exposure Category D


U.S. Customary units: Vmin = 89.6 mph
SI units: Vmin = 40.05 m/sec
The wind speeds in miles per hour above, and the corresponding SI values, are rounded in Recommendation
2.2.3.5.3.

3.1.3.6 Earthquake Loads


3.1.3.6.1 General
Where earthquakes are likely, tank structures require greater resistance to lateral forces than needed for
wind forces. In such areas, the tank, tower, and foundation should meet all local requirements and FM Global
recommendations. Earthquake resistance of gravity tanks can require unusually large diagonal bracing,
particularly in the top panel of the tower, and a special foundation.
Lateral (horizontal) and vertical forces result from ground accelerations during an earthquake. Lateral
accelerations cause sliding (shear) and overturning of the tank, and cause the water at the top of tanks to
slosh. Anchorage may be needed where the earthquake-caused sliding and overturning forces exceed the
sliding friction and moment that can be resisted by the tank dead and fluid loads. Roof members may need
to be designed to resist the impact of sloshing liquid where the freeboard provided is inadequate. Vertical
accelerations increase the effective weight of the contained water and, thus, the hydrostatic tension stresses
on the tank shell.
Some ground-supported suction tanks do not have a bottom plate, but instead have an interior flexible (e.g.,
rubber) liner that hangs from the upper shell to contain the water. The water weight is resisted by the
hydrostatic shell forces, and by the soil or mat interior to the tank shell upon which the rubber liner rests.
However, as a consequence of having no bottom plate there is only a minimal contact surface between the
thin tank shell plates and the foundation, thus friction at the base of the tank (which, for most tanks having
bottom plates resists all or a majority of the substantial shear force) cannot be used to resist sliding. Further,
without a bottom plate the contained water adjacent to the shell cannot be lifted to partially resist overturning.
Also, the rigidity of the tank shell, and its ability to evenly distribute loads, may be compromised in tanks
lacking bottom plates. Therefore, only half of the anchors are effective in shear or tension, essentially doubling
the number of anchors required. A final consideration is that uplift anchors do not usually function as shear
anchors and shear anchors do not usually function as uplift anchors unless detailed to do so.
Since significantly more earthquake shear and overturning anchorage is needed when a tank lacks a bottom
plate, and since earthquake damage to internal liners is possible even if tanks lacking a bottom plate are
anchored, it is very undesirable to construct tanks subject to earthquake forces without a bottom plate in FM
Global 50-year through 500-year zones. Omission of the bottom plate for tanks subject to earthquake forces
is strongly discouraged.
Where it occurs in earthquake zones, a mat foundation (not a ring wall) must be used and adequate anchorage
provided.
The controlling load combinations for earthquake forces generally include the total fluid live load (i.e., the
tank is full), since the contained water contributes the bulk of the mass subject to acceleration, in addition
to the total tank dead weight. The roof live or snow load is included through one of the two methods given in
Recommendation 2.2.3.6.1.
3.1.3.6.2 Earthquake Response of Water in a Tank
FM Global uses the effective mass method to determine the earthquake response of contained water, as
outlined in AWWA D100 and AWWA D103 and described below.

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The contained water in a tank constitutes a very large part (e.g., perhaps 95% for cylindrical steel suction
tanks, 70% to 90% for concrete suction tanks) of the mass subject to earthquake acceleration. In order to
understand the horizontal seismic response of water within a storage tank, visualize that it is divided into two
parts: (a) an impulsive mass, and (b) a convective mass. Horizontal earthquake accelerations cause the
impulsive liquid near the tank base to move essentially as a rigid mass in unison with the tank walls and the
convective liquid near the free surface at the top of the tank to slosh.
The relative proportions of the convective and impulsive liquid depend on the ability of the tank to confine
the liquid. The greater the confinement, the greater is the impulsive liquid (and, consequently, the earthquake
lateral forces) and the smaller is the convective liquid. For example, in a ground-supported cylindrical suction
tank with sufficient freeboard and constant water height (H), as the tank diameter (D) decreases, the
confinement of the liquid (and, thus, the impulsive liquid weight) increases. The impulsive liquid is about 20%
of the total liquid weight when the tank diameter is six times its height, but increases to about 75% of the
total liquid weight when the tank diameter and height are equal.
The natural period of vibration of the impulsive liquid is low (for ground-supported tanks, it is typically less
than the period defined as Ts = SD1/SDS) and so it experiences high accelerations (see Fig. 28 in Appendix
E). Conversely, the natural period of vibration of the convective liquid is high (often in the range of 2 seconds
to 4 seconds and potentially much higher) and so it experiences much lower accelerations and contributes
negligibly to the seismic loads in the tank. Therefore even when the convective liquid weighs much more than
the impulsive liquid, the impulsive liquid still controls the seismic loads (base shear and overturning moment)
in the tank. For ground-supported cylindrical steel tanks, horizontal acceleration of the impulsive water mass
typically causes 90% or more of the sliding (base shear) force and 85% or more of the overturning moment.
It is desirable to provide sufficient freeboard so that the sloshing waves do not impact the roof during
earthquakes. Insufficient freeboard causes: 1) upward load on the roof due to impacts from the sloshing wave,
and 2) increase in impulsive mass due to constraining action of the roof. When provided freeboard is
insufficient, some of the liquid that would have responded in a convective mode instead responds in an
impulsive mode. Since the convective accelerations of common suction tanks range from about 10% to 30%
of impulsive accelerations, the increase in impulsive liquid weight resulting from confinement of the water
by the roof can significantly increase earthquake forces on the tank. Where up-and-down movement of the
free-surface is restricted by other means (e.g., by adding baffles in the tank), these also confine the liquid,
increasing the impulsive mass and, hence, the seismic forces.
Determining the weight of the tank itself (i.e., roof, shell, bottom plate) and the weight of the roof live (snow)
load subject to earthquake accelerations is straightforward. However, determining the impulsive and
convective liquid weights, and the allowable stress design (ASD) force factors, depends on the configuration
and properties of the tank (and, in the case of elevated tanks, the structure supporting the tank).
The effective mass method for rectangular concrete tanks outlined in ACI 350.3, Seismic Design of
Liquid-Containing Concrete Structures and Commentary results in values for the impulsive and convective
water masses and their heights, the required freeboard and the tank base shear and overturning moment
similar to those found using the AWWA method. When determining these values for a rectangular tank, the
inside dimension of the rectangular tank parallel to the direction of ground motion (L) is substituted for the tank
diameter (D) in the AWWA equations. Note, however, that most other equations used for cylindrical tanks
in Appendix E of this data sheet (e.g., those to determine the earthquake uplift parameter [J] and to determine
required bolt tension force [Tr]) cannot be used for rectangular tanks.

3.1.3.7 Soil Loads


Buried tanks should be designed for lateral earth and groundwater pressure as determined by a geotechnical
engineer.

3.1.4 Fireproofing Steel Towers


Where fireproofing is necessary, details of application and materials should be determined by a structural
engineer. Fireproofing is not usually performed by the tank contractor. Concrete is ordinarily used where the
steel is exposed to the weather, and lightweight aggregate plasters held in place by wire or metal lath where
the steel is inside a building.
Steel columns, horizontal struts, and compression portal braces should be fireproofed to give 4-hr fire
resistance. Fireproofing is not required on diagonal wind rods or large steel-plate risers.

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Ordinarily, columns are so nearly vertical that the weight of the fireproofing material does not cause significant
bending stresses. If columns are considerably inclined, place reinforcing bars in the fireproofing material
to make it self-supporting. With horizontal struts and compression portal braces, locate reinforcing rods near
the bottom of the section. Care should be taken in designing the supports. Compression members are not
usually strong enough to resist bending; struts should be carefully checked. Flash all intersections of
fire-proofing materials and steel. Instead of fireproofing the members, open sprinklers or spray nozzles may
be used to protect tank towers if water supplies are sufficient and other conditions satisfactory.

3.1.5 Lightning Protection for Wood Tanks


It is advisable to equip exposed, wooden gravity tanks (on independent towers or above building roofs) and
wooden pump suction tanks with a lightning rod system.
Provide a lightning rod of 1/2 in. (13 mm) diameter solid copper, pointed at the top and extending at least
12 in. (0.3 m) above the peak of the roof. Connect the base of the rod to a copper down conductor weighing
not less than 187 lb/1000 ft (278 kg/1000 m) for structures 75 ft (23 m) or less in height and 375 lb/1000
ft (558 kg/1000 m) for taller structures. More detailed information on lightning protection can be found in NFPA
780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection Systems. The down conductor should be securely
fastened to the outside of the tank and soldered to a lug which is bolted to a ground clamp around the tank
riser or discharge pipe. Before attaching the ground clamp, thoroughly scrape and clean the riser to obtain
a good electrical connection.

3.1.6 Coating Systems for Corrosion Protection of Steel Surfaces


Interior and exterior steel surfaces are typically protected from environmental deterioration by applying
appropriate coating systems (e.g., paint). Cathodic protection can reduce the corrosion of submerged steel
surfaces, preventing metal loss at any void in the coating system below the water level. Since it is relatively
uncommon and somewhat complex, cathodic protection will not be covered here.
The thickness of paint systems and coatings is often given as the Dry Film Thickness (DFT) in mils (1/1000
inch). Where a one-piece interior flexible rubber liner supported from the top edge of a ground-supported
suction tank is provided (usually in bolted tanks) the steel surface protected by it can typically be considered
an interior dry surface. In addition to aesthetics, considerations in selecting the coating systems used include
cost, environmental factors (e.g., potential for condensation or sweating on the tank, windblown debris,
extreme temperatures, etc.), coating system life and abrasion resistance, ease of application and expected
temperature/humidity at application, and ease of repairing/recoating the in-service tank.
Coating systems have changed substantially over the years due to advances in coatings technologies,
regulations limiting the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and restrictions on certain coating
ingredients such as red lead. The detailed coating system guidelines in the AWWA D102 (welded tanks) and
D103 (bolted tanks) editions listed in Section 4.3, as modified by FM Approvals Standard 4020, should be
followed. Coating systems allowed by other standards can be considered where they are generally equivalent
to those given in the AWWA and FM Approvals documents. Wax, coal tar, coal-tar enamel and asphalt coating
systems are no longer allowed in AWWA D102. Wax coatings can soften and run during extreme
temperatures. Additionally, when bituminous coatings are thick (> 20 mils [> 0.51 mm] DFT), peeling or
cracking of the coating may dislodge a piece large enough to block a sprinkler head and, thus, should not
be used on tank interior wet surfaces.
The underside of flat-bottomed steel suction tank plates set on soil or a concrete slab should be protected
against corrosion. Using a coating system for corrosion protection of the underside of ground-supported steel
bottom plates is reasonable for factory-coated bolted tanks, but is not recommended for welded tanks since
the coating will not be continuous and a greater level of corrosion can be expected at voids in the coating.
If coating the underside of a welded bottom plate is desired, a system suitable for the specific service should
be applied after it has been completely welded together.
Where a coating system on the underside of the steel bottom plate is not provided, the tank bottom plates
should be supported on load-bearing compacted fill below a minimum 4 in. (100 mm) thick sand cushion
treated with lime or oil, or on a concrete slab with a minimum 1 in. (25 mm) treated sand cushion to prevent
corrosion. The sand can be treated by one of the following methods:
A. Where allowed by environmental authorities, the preferred method is to provide oiled sand as the base
material. The oiled sand mixture should consist of 6 to 18 gallons of Number 2 fuel oil or a heavy-base
petroleum oil per cubic yard of clean sand (30 to 89 L/m3). Sand should be coated (using a concrete mixer),

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Fig. 5. Section through typical pedestal supported tank with circulating heater

but not running with excess oil, such that it can be formed into a ball without dripping oil.
B. Use a lime/sand mixture as the base material. The mixture should consist of hydrated lime added to
clean sand such that the pH of the mixture is between 7.0 and 10.5. The chloride content of the mixture
should be less than 100 ppm and the sulfate content should be less than 200 ppm. When the underside
of the tank bottom is to be coated, the coating system should be compatible with the lime/sand mixture.
In addition, corrosion of the ground-supported bottom plates is mitigated by:
sloping the bottom plate upward toward the tank center (minimum 1 in. [25 mm] vertical to 10 ft [3.0 m]
horizontal).
preventing water infiltration under the tank (e.g., by locating tops of foundations 6 in. [150 mm] above
adjacent grade and sloping the ground for positive drainage away from the tank, and by providing granular
fill and water diversion ditches where needed).
Surface preparation is the single most important factor in preventing coating system failure. Surface
preparation cleans the steel of contaminants and roughens or profiles smooth surfaces such that the first

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(primer) coat mechanically adheres to the surface. Additionally, grinding of welds, smoothing of corners and
edges, and filling of voids may be necessary to prepare the surface.
Surface preparation usually includes solvent cleaning to remove visible grease and oil followed by blast
cleaning (blasting the surface with an abrasive) to remove contaminants such as old paint, rust, and scale
and to provide a suitable anchor pattern for the coating application. Blast cleaning creates a roughened profile
about 1.0 to 3.0 mil (25-76 micrometer) high. In some cases blast cleaning may be replaced by power tool
cleaning (for small areas) or cleaning in an acid solution. The coating system primer (or the coating system
itself if no primer is called for) must then be applied before any surface rusting or accumulation of dust, etc.
can occur.
Specifications for surface preparation of steel and other materials issued jointly or separately by the Society
for Protective Coatings (SSPC) and NACE International (NACE) are commonly used. Other common surface
preparation standards are the International Standard ISO 8501-1 (equivalent or essentially equivalent to
Swedish Standard SIS055900 and British Standard BS 7079), and the outdated British Standard BS4232.
Information on commonly used SSPC/NACE surface preparation methods for new tanks follows. For
approximately equivalent international surface preparation standards related to blast and power tool cleaning,
refer to Table 4. Surface preparation by high and ultrahigh pressure water jetting has limited applicability
and is not covered.
Solvent Cleaning (SSPC-SP1): Used prior to surface preparation methods specified for the removal of rust,
mill scale, or paint contaminants (i.e., blast, power tool or chemical cleaning) to remove visible grease and
oil contaminants and prevent them from spreading during subsequent cleaning.
White Metal Blast Cleaning (SSPC-SP5/NACE No. 1): Leaves the metal white, with no shadows or visible
contaminants (e.g., oil, grease, dirt, dust, mill scale, rust, paint, coatings, oxides, corrosion products and
other foreign matter) left on the surface. It is the most expensive and stringent of all the surface preparation
methods. It is not normally specified unless severe service exposure or immersion is required.
Near-White Metal Blast Cleaning (SSPC-SP10/NACE No.2): This method is between SSPC-SP5/NACE
No. 1 and SSPC-SP6/NACE No. 3. All visible contaminants are removed, but 5% staining (from rust, mill scale,
or previously applied coating) in each unit area (any square measuring 3 in. x 3 in. [76 mm x 76 mm]) is
allowed. It is used where a higher degree of performance is required than is provided by SSPC-SP6/NACE
No. 3 (e.g., interior wet surfaces) and where SSPC-SP5/NACE No. 1 is not economically justified. Near White
Blast Cleaning is adequate for moderate to moderately severe exposure conditions.
Commercial Blast Cleaning (SSPC-SP6/NACE No. 3): The most economical of the abrasive cleaning
methods, and provides an acceptable degree of cleaning before primer application. All visible contaminants
are removed, but 33% staining (from rust, mill scale, or previously applied coating) in each unit area is
allowed. This method is appropriate for mild to moderate corrosion environments.
Brush-Off Blast Cleaning (SSPC-SP7/NACE No. 4): This method involves the removal of all visible oil,
grease, dirt, dust, loose mill scale, loose rust, and loose coating. Tightly adherent mill scale, rust, and coating
may remain on the surface. It is useful in touch-up work, or repainting old coatings that are in relatively good
condition.
Power Tool Cleaning to Bare Metal(SSPC-SP11): Power tool cleaning to remove all visible contaminants
(e.g., oil, grease, dirt, dust, mill scale, rust, paint, coatings, oxides, corrosion products and other foreign
matter) to produce a bare metal surface and to retain or produce a minimum 1.0 mil (25 micrometer) surface
profile. This standard differs from SSPC-SP 15, in that no surface staining is permitted (slight residues of
rust and paint may be left in the lower portion of pits). It differs from SSPC-SP3 in that it requires more
thorough cleaning and a surface profile. Although not equivalent, this method is used for areas where abrasive
blasting is prohibited or not feasible.
Commercial Grade Power Tool Cleaning (SSPC-SP15): Power tool cleaning to remove all visible
contaminants and to retain or produce a minimum 1.0 mil (25 micrometer) surface profile. This standard
permits random staining to remain on 33% of each unit area of the cleaned surface, where SSPC-SP 11
requires removal of surface staining. This standard differs from SSPC-SP3 in that it requires more thorough
cleaning and a surface profile.
Power Tool Cleaning (SSPC-SP3): This method involves rotary wire brushes and grinders. It is usually
used for small areas and results in a highly polished surface. Power tool cleaning does not provide a good
surface profile for most primers.

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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Pickling (SSPC-SP8): This method is used where the object can be immersed in the cleaning solution (e.g.,
in metal shops) but it is not widely used. The process involves complete removal of all rust, mill scale and
foreign matter by chemical reaction or electrolysis in acid solutions.

Table 4. Surface Preparation Standards


SSPC/NACE Standards Nearest Equivalent Standard
SSPC NACE International Standard British Standard
ISO 8501-1 BS4232

Swedish Standard
SIS055900

British Standard
BS 7079
SSPC-SP5 White Metal Blast Cleaning 1 Sa3 First Quality
SSPC-SP10 Near-White Metal Blast Cleaning 2 Sa2-1/2 Second Quality
SSPC-SP6 Commercial Blast Cleaning 3 Sa2 Third Quality
SSPC-SP7 Brush-Off Blast Cleaning 4 Sa1 --
SSPC-SP11 Power Tool Cleaning to Bare Metal -- -- --
SSPC-SP15 Commercial Grade Power Tool Cleaning -- -- --
SSPC-SP3 Power Tool Cleaning -- St3 --

3.1.7 Flexible Liners for Suction Tanks


Although it is not necessarily desirable, particularly in earthquake zones (see Section 3.1.1 and Section
3.1.3.6), in some tanks water is contained using a flexible internally-supported membrane, or liner. Common
liner materials include synthetic rubber (e.g., EDPM, CSPE [CSM or Hypalon]), polypropylene and PVC.
If used, the liner material should be packaged and protected against damage in transportation and be
sufficiently durable to be handled and installed with minimal damage. Liners should be supplied with repair
kits.
Some, but not necessarily all, considerations when selecting a liner include the following:
A. Compatibility with the stored water (e.g., pH, chlorine, water hardness, etc.).
B. Durability for typical water temperatures, serviceability for expected maximum and minimum water
temperatures, and resistance to failure at extreme temperatures. Use of a liner should be reconsidered
when freezing of water in the tank is of concern.
C. Tank height and diameter.
D. Conditions that may require fabricating the liner in more than one piece or splicing the liner (e.g., large
tanks, tanks with internal roof support columns) and the consequences of this.
E. The needed support to minimize effects of elongation, and the stability of the liner against shrinkage
(suggestion is less than 3% over the design life of the liner).
F. The effects on the liner resulting from fluctuating water levels (for dual-service tanks) and multiple cycles
of tank draining and refilling over its design life.
G. The permeability of the liner (some permeability of liners used in wood tanks may be desirable so that
the wood does not dry out; liners covering internal insulation should be essentially impermeable).
H. The expected life (should not be less than 10 years).
I. Environmental conditions for any exposed portion of the liner (especially exposure to ultraviolet light).
Tank liners vary widely in thickness. It is suggested that an unreinforced liner be not less than 30 mils (0.75
mm) thick and a scrim-reinforced (e.g., with woven polyester) liner be not less than 24 mils (0.6 mm) thick.
When the tank is 20 ft (6 m) tall or more, liners should be scrim reinforced (with a suggested tensile strength
of about 110 lb/in. of liner [19.3 kN/m of liner]).
Liners need to be positively attached to support their self weight. At the top circumference the liner should
be bolted or screwed (suggested maximum spacing of 12 in. [300 mm]) to minimize sagging. The suggested

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
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failure strength of each connection is 125 lb (550 N) with minimum #12 to #14 (0.216 in. to 0.242 in. [6 mm]
diameter) screws or minimum 3/8 in. (10 mm) diameter bolts. The rim of the tank may need additional hoop
reinforcement (e.g., using a rectangular hollow section) to prevent the rim from rolling in and to increase
the thickness through which the screws or bolts can be placed. Intermediate liner supports will likely be
needed when the tank exceeds about 13 ft (4 m) in height.
When the tank is supported by a ring beam, the liner should rest on a minimum 2 in. (50 mm) depth of clean,
washed bedding sand. In FM Global 50-year through 500-year earthquake zones, the liner must be supported
by a steel bottom or a concrete mat foundation. A geo-textile material should be used to protect the base
of the liner from foundation materials, preferably over the whole base but at least where the bottom shell plates
and foundation form a joint, and be lapped up the side of the bottom shell plate for a distance of not less
than 12 in. (300 mm). The liner should be protected against sharp edges of tank elements, including, for
example, the anti-vortex plate. Interior insulation (where used) attachments to the tank must be configured or
covered so they do not damage the liner under normal or earthquake (in FM Global 50-year through 500-year
earthquake zones) conditions.
The fill line should be located to prevent discharge behind the liner (at least two pipe diameters from the
tank wall and directed towards the center of the tank). Other piping connections and the top of the liner
(including any geo-textile material that extends to the top of the tank) should be detailed or sealed to prevent
water infiltration behind the liner, particularly if interior insulation is used. The vortex inhibiter should be
detailed or another method employed to prevent sucking up the liner.
The visible parts of the liner should be inspected yearly (Recommendation 2.3.6), and the tank should be
drained (leaving a minimum of 2 in. [50 mm] of water to prevent liner movement) and the liner inspected
thoroughly at intervals not exceeding five years (Recommendation 2.3.9). An indication of the life remaining
in a tank liner should be estimated at each drain and clean interval. Subsequent tank drain and inspection
frequency intervals may need to be adjusted based on the estimated remaining life of the liner or the expiration
of the manufacturers warranty.
Above the water line, liners should be checked for: eyelet corrosion, failure of eyelets or punched-hole
connectors, discoloration, shrinkage (e.g., notable increased membrane tension), brittleness, surface
deterioration, cuts and tears. Below the water line check for discoloration, elongation, bulging, loss of flexibility
and for signs of leaks, cuts and tears. Remove all sludge and debris without using sharp tools to prevent
tearing and puncturing of the liner. Patching of a liner is an acceptable method of repair if the patch repair
work matches the performance of the factory-built liner. Ensure the liner is in the correct position prior to
refilling; this includes the positioning of the neoprene mat (where fitted) under the vortex plate bottom
support.

3.1.8 Other Suction Tank Types


Reinforced concrete suction tanks are not FM Approved, but if designed in accordance with American
Concrete Institute standards ACI 350, ACI 350.3 and ACI 318 for the Section 2.2.3 design loads in this data
sheet they would be expected to perform well under normal and natural hazard (e.g., earthquake) loadings.
Seismic design forces in ACI 350.3 are based on the effective mass method (i.e., impulsive and convective
motion of contained water) for rectangular tanks that yields results similar to FM Approval Standard 4020.

3.2 Break Tanks


A break tank is an automatically filled tank that provides a suction water supply for a fire pump. The tank
capacity is not adequate to supply the total sprinkler and hose stream demand for the required duration.
Careful consideration should be given to providing a full-size suction tank or reservoir. Larger underground
mains to fill the break tank, and additional equipment and appurtenances can result in a break tank
installation cost approaching or exceeding that of a full-size suction tank. This, coupled with the decreased
reliability of the fire protection system, may make the full-sized suction tank a more attractive alternative.
Reliability of a break tank is less than that of an adequately sized suction tank because the automatic fill
mechanisms are subject to mechanical failure. Also, the makeup water flowing into the break tank from the
public supply can reduce pump performance due to excessive aeration and turbulence.
Break tanks provide a means of cross-connection control where jurisdictional authorities prohibit any direct
connections between the public water supply and a private fire protection system, either for health or
hydraulic reasons. This is accomplished by creating a physical break, or gap, between the public water supply

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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and the private fire protection system. Water from the public water supply enters the break tank at a height
above the tank overflow outlet and falls into the tank. Since the water in the tank is considered potable, the
top of the tank should be enclosed.
The water from the public supply is no longer under pressure once it enters the break tank, so a fire pump
taking suction from the break tank is needed to supply the fire protection water at adequate pressure. A
booster fire pump, which previously took suction from the public water supply and was considered an
adequate fire protection water supply, may not provide adequate water flow and pressure for fire protection
if it is re-configured to take suction from a break tank. The flow and pressure characteristics of the public
water supply will no longer affect the actual flow and pressure characteristics of the fire protection water supply
downstream from the fire pump.
Guidelines for the fire pump installation are contained in Data Sheet 3-7, Fire Protection Pumps.
There are two types of float valves, modulating and non-modulating. Modulating float valves operate using
a pilot controlled system to balance influent and effluent rates. The float valve responds to changing water
levels by draining small amounts of water from the pilot control system, which creates a pressure differential
across the fill valve. The pressure differential determines valve position, and thus the flow rate into the tank.
Maximum recommended valve capacities can be obtained from valve manufacturers.
Non-modulating float valves open wide when the water level reaches the low float set point, and close fully
when the water level reaches the high float set point. Because of this positive valve action, problems with
water hammer may be introduced into the piping system feeding the fill valves. For this reason, modulating
type float valves are preferred over non-modulating type float valves.
To confirm that the rate of inflow from automatic and manual fill valves has not been adversely affected by
changes to the public water supply or valve deterioration over time, verify the inflow rate at least annually.
Providing an annubar or other flow-measuring device on automatic fill lines as required by some codes, such
as Australian Standard AS 2304, Water Storage Tanks for Fire Protection Systems, may be appropriate to
allow more frequent verification when the public system is particularly vulnerable to seasonal variations.

3.3 Pressure Tanks


Pressure tanks are horizontal cylindrical steel tanks with a water capacity on the order of 200 to 20,000 gal
(0.75 to 76 m3). The tank water capacity is typically two-thirds of the total listed tank capacity (i.e., a 30,000
gal [114 m3] tank usually contains 20,000 gals [76 m3] of water). The remaining volume of the tank is filled
with pressurized air. The 2/3 capacity line (or the line corresponding to a different design water level if
applicable) must be marked and labeled on the tank plate behind the gauge glass.
A pressure tank may be used as a primary or secondary water supply to feed a sprinkler system and hoses,
and multiple pressure tanks can be used in combination if needed to meet capacity demands. Pressure tanks
may also be used where there is enough water from another supply source but the water pressure is too
low, where extra water pressure is needed to supply the highest line of sprinklers or hoses, or to provide
adequate pressure until automatic fire pumps have sufficiently increased the water supply pressure. When
combined with gravity tanks, connections must be arranged to prevent air lock (residual pressure tank
pressure holding the gravity check valve closed) by, for example, locating the connections of the discharge
pipes and the gravity tank check valve at least 45 ft. (13.7 m) below the gravity tank bottom.
Pressure tanks should be painted as for other welded steel tanks (see Section 2.2.4). They should ideally
be located above all the system piping so that the pressure required is reduced, but can be located at or below
grade. Pressure tanks are usually housed in an enclosed structure (and must be if subjected to freezing);
the tank room must be maintained at no less than 40F (4.4C).
If buried, backfill at least 12 in. (0.3 m) of sand around the tank, design the tank to resist the soil loads and
provide a cathodic system to protect against corrosion. Project the end, and 18 in. (0.46 m) of the shell, of
buried pressure tanks into a heated basement or pit. Buried tanks must also be located below the frost line
to protect against freezing and above the maximum ground water level to protect against buoyancy (or be
anchored against buoyancy).
Horizontal pressure tanks must have steel or concrete supports at each end so that the tank doesnt sag
or vibrate and so that stresses are below allowable limits. In FM Global 50-year through 500-year zones,
adequate anchorage is needed if support configuration does not prevent sliding and supports must be
designed to transfer the lateral forces.

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets Page 29

Pressure tanks should have the following:


A. A manhole below the water line
B. A water-level gauge with normally closed isolating brass valves at each end and a brass petcock for
drainage
C. A tank discharge pipe (not less than 4 in. [100 mm] diameter) with a check valve, an indicating valve,
and swing or expansion joints; and connected at the bottom of the tank to a fitting that projects 2 in. (50
mm) above the tank bottom (to form a settling basin)
D. A fill line (not less than 1.5 in. [38 mm] diameter), with a check valve, an indicating control valve, and
a brass pressure-relief valve; and capable of filling the tank with the air pressure restored in 4 hours
E. An air supply pipe (not less than 1 in. [25 mm] diameter) connected to the tank above the water level
with a check valve, a globe valve, and a brass pressure relief valve; and supplied by an air compressor
with automatic controls (capable of delivering 20 ft3/min [0.57 m3/min] for tanks greater than 7500 gal
[28.39 m3] total capacity, and 16 ft3/min [0.45 m3/min] for smaller tanks)
F. A 4.5 in. (114 mm) dial, double spring air pressure gauge connected into the air chamber with a range
twice the normal working pressure, and an adjacent brass plugged outlet for an inspectors gauge
G. An emergency drain (not less than 1.5 in. [38 mm] diameter) and valve at the bottom of the tank, and
independent of all other tanks and the sprinkler system
H. Where the tank is the sole water supply, two alarms, one for low air pressure and one for low water,
supplied from an electrical circuit independent of the air compressor. It is preferable to have two high and
low alarm systems; one system to monitor the high and low air pressure and the other system to monitor
the high and low water levels on all tanks.
The volume of water in the tank must be adequate to meet the required demand and the quantity of air in
the tank and its pressure must be sufficient to push all of the water out of the tank while maintaining the
necessary residual pressure at the top of the system. As the volume of air increases, the required pressure
to accomplish this decreases. If the pressure is too high (e.g., exceeds the rated pressure of sprinkler system
components) the amount of air carried in the tank will have to be increased, possibly requiring a larger tank.
The air in the tank is typically maintained under a minimum pressure of 75 psi (5.2 bar) with the last water
leaving the tank at a pressure of 15 psi (1.03 bar).
See NFPA 22 for methods to calculate the required pressure in the tank and for other provisions related to
pressure tanks.

3.4 Operation and Maintenance


Keep the tank filled. Keep the filling bypass closed when not in use, even if the tank is filled by a fire pump.
An open bypass would result in loss of needed firefighting water.
Keep the roof hatch cover and the door at the top of the frost-proof casing fastened to prevent wind damage,
keep out birds, and conserve heat in winter.
A review of the tank exterior and equipment should be conducted at least annually, and more often for some
items (e.g., see Section 3.8.6 for tank heating equipment) to expose problem areas. Any questionable
conditions should be reported immediately to the management and necessary repairs recommended.
Keep the base of tower columns and suction tanks free from dirt, rubbish, or combustible material of any
kind that might cause failure of the steel by fire, heat or corrosion. Keep the whole site clear of weeds, brush,
and grass. Keep the tops of foundations at least 6 in. (150 mm) above ground level, and the bases of columns
in which water accumulates filled with concrete sloped and flashed to shed water. Any intersection of
masonry or concrete and steel should be kept flashed.
During repainting or repairs, the contractor or engineer should carefully inspect the entire structure, including
foundations in the ground building directly beneath the tank, frost-proof casing, and accessories.
When repainting, give special attention to areas that are difficult to clean, such as around clevis pins, inside
channel columns near foundations if pockets are formed by batten plates, and inside surfaces of angular
members that are separated by thin lattice bars, washers, or short pipes.

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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Structural members passing through roofs or walls sometimes are not adequately waterproofed at the
intersection. They should be exposed to determine their condition, repaired if necessary, and carefully
cleaned, painted, and waterproofed. Pockets at the bases of columns or elsewhere that do not drain should
be filled with concrete and the tops sloped to shed water. Flash the contact surfaces between concrete and
steel with asphalt.
Parts affecting the strength of the structure should be renewed or repaired by a competent tank contractor.
Do not remove diagonal wind rods or other members unless the tank is empty and struts or guys are arranged
to prevent collapse.
The plates at the water surface of a steel tank that has not been painted frequently enough may be seriously
corroded and require replacement. Conditions in individual cases will determine whether it will be less
expensive to replace the whole tank or only the seriously corroded plates.
Repair leaking joints in welded tanks by removing all defective metal and rewelding to full strength. Welded
joints should be repaired only after completely draining the tank or lowering the water at least 2 ft (0.6 m)
below the joint to be repaired. Do not attempt to make repairs by welding or hammering while a tank is full.
Prepare the surface and repaint the tank at the new weld.
Leaks in existing riveted tanks may be repaired by one or a combination of methods. With caution, welding
may be used on a limited basis without causing leakage at adjacent seams and rivets. To keep the heat
of the metal as low as possible and still be consistent with good welding practice, one should employ small
weld beads for each pass. The tank surface will need to be prepared and repainted at welded locations.
Partial welding combined with caulking adjacent to the weld, rather than welding all seams and rivets, can
be effective. This method is more successful near the high water line than lower in the tank where joints are
subject to greater stress fluctuations between full and empty conditions. Where minor seepage is
encountered, epoxy cement can be used effectively.
Welded repairs should be completed using welders and welding procedures that are qualified and certified
in accordance with AWWA D100. Filler and patch materials must be weldable and compatible with the original
materials of construction. Joint design should be in accordance with the original code of construction and/or
recognized industry repair standards (such as the National Board Inspection Code [NBIC]).
Old wooden tanks develop small leaks even though the lumber may be generally sound. Leakage may result
in dangerous icing on tank structures, and should be promptly remedied. Waterproofing preparations have
stopped slight leakage for three to five years and even longer. However, waterproofing or plastic bag liners are
suggested only when the tank is otherwise in good condition, and should always be regarded as a temporary
remedy. If the lumber is generally rotted, replace the tank.
Repair and securely anchor roofs of wooden tanks that have been in service for ten years, as well as those
in which nails are badly rusted or roof boards and their supports rotted. The following procedure is
recommended:
1. Have the roof carefully inspected by a qualified contractor.
2. Replace all rotted lumber, including that in the hatches.
3. Re-nail boards and supports with corrosion-resistant nails such as those of galvanized, chromium nickel
steel alloy, or Monel metal.

3.5 Foundations
Tanks and tank towers may be supported on foundations in the ground, by building walls, or by framework.

3.5.1 Foundations in the Ground


The overall foundation design, including necessary soil exploration, is the responsibility of the purchaser or
his engineering representative. This design must be coordinated with the tank contractor, who usually takes
no direct responsibility in this area but will furnish a suggested foundation design as part of his contract if
requested.
Cylindrical tanks at grade are most commonly founded on a reinforced concrete ring beam that transfers
the concentrated dead weight of the tank shell and the roof supported by the tank shell to the soil, and also
retains compacted gravel and sand on which the tank bottom rests. The concrete ring beam center line should

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets Page 31

Fig. 6. Discharge pipe connected to side of suction tank

be the same diameter as the tank. Although it is not preferred, in FM Global >500-year zones, and where
wind anchorage is not needed, a compacted berm with a corrosion-resistant steel retaining ring may be
adequate for a small tank.
Where cylindrical ground-supported tanks require anchorage to resist earthquake overturning, ring beams
may need to be extremely deep and/or wide to provide enough dead load to resist uplift forces. The uplift can
be resisted by the weight of the concrete in the foundation, and the weight of the soil and water directly above
the foundation (but only the weight of the water in excess of the water weight already assumed to be picked
up by the tank bottom plate to resist overturning). Alternatives to a large ring beam could include providing
piles under the ring beam, or providing a mat foundation.
Piers supporting large steel-plate risers may be hollow (Figures 14 and 15) or of solid reinforced concrete.
Provide a solid reinforced concrete pier to support the base elbow of a pipe riser.

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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Use of expansion bolts to anchor columns of elevated tanks or for suction tank uplift anchorage should be
avoided. The stressed portions of anchor bolts should not be exposed. If they must be, protect them from
corrosion by, for example, encasement in cement mortar. This is unnecessary if they are accessible for
complete cleaning and painting.

3.5.2 Supporting Buildings


Buildings supporting tanks should be of fire-resistive construction. If a gravity tank or supporting tower is to
be placed on the walls of a new building, construct the building to carry the maximum loads. Old buildings
should be carefully checked by an engineer to determine whether the tank can be safely installed. Existing
buildings in active seismic areas require special review before a tank is constructed on them.

3.6 Pipe Connections and Fittings


Make watertight intersections between all tank pipes and building roofs, and waterproof floors so that water
from above cannot flow down the outside of pipes to lower floors or basement. For existing gravity tank
installations and all pressure tank installations where earthquake protection is needed, provide clearance
holes around tank piping at roofs, floors, partitions and walls of buildings unless the buildings are designed
to resist earthquakes as a rigid unit. The holes should provide at least 1 in. (25 mm) of clearance around
pipes. Mineral wool or other noncombustible but compressible material should be retained in the space by
pipe collars for a substantially watertight intersection.

3.6.1 Riser and Connections


Risers for gravity tanks may be of either pipe or fabricated steel plate. When pipe is used, conditions at
individual plants determine the size of the riser. The diameter, however, should not be less than 6 in. (150
mm) for tanks up to 25,000 gal (94.6 m3) capacity, not less than 8 in. (200 mm) for 30,000 to 100,000 gal (114
to 378 m3), or less than 10 in. (250 mm) for greater capacities. Larger pipe may be necessary because of
the location and arrangement of piping, height of buildings, or other conditions. Pipe risers for FM Approved
tanks are flanged cast iron, steel, or welded steel pipe. Copper, lead, or high quality rubber gaskets are placed
between the flanges.
Risers fabricated from steel plate should be at least 3 ft (0.91 m) in diameter. When supported on a hollow
pier (Figures 14 and 15), the short length of vertical discharge pipe should be either wrought steel with a
welded connection or cast iron with a lead joint through the bottom plate of the riser.
Where earthquake-resistant construction is necessary, weldable steel or other ductile metal for the riser pipe,
base elbow, and other pipes and fittings is used rather than cast iron, unless FM Approved flexible couplings
are installed. A small pipe riser is preferred to a large steel plate riser because it weighs less and,
consequently, transmits smaller earthquake forces to the tower and foundation.
The top of a pipe riser extends above the inside of the tank bottom to form a settling basin. With large
steel-plate risers, the vertical discharge pipe extends above the bottom or the connection is through the side
of the riser. The minimum depth of settling basins is 4 in. (100 mm) for a flat-bottom tank; 18 in. (457 mm)
for a suspended-bottom, steel gravity tank with a pipe riser; 18 in. for an elevated, spherical tank; and 3 ft (0.91
m) at the base of a large steel-plate riser.
The inlet to the vertical discharge pipe in elevated tanks with large steel-plate risers, 3 ft (0.91 m) or larger
in diameter, should be protected against the entry of foreign materials. Provide a flat, protective cover plate
(Figure 16) extending at least 4 in. (100 mm) beyond the outside diameter of the pipe and a minimum of one
pipe diameter above the inlet.

3.6.2 Bracing and Support of Riser


Brace tank risers laterally to resist wind damage, using rods not less than 5/8 in. (16 mm) in diameter
connected to the tower columns near each panel point. Such braces should be installed at each strut level
for large steel plate risers. End connections of braces should consist of eyes, shackles, or nuts; open hooks
should not be used.
Where earthquake-resistant construction is necessary, brace risers and other tank pipes to the panel points
of the columns so that they will follow the tower vibration without being over stressed. With pipe risers, FM

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets Page 33

Approved flexible couplings may be installed. Brace base elbows and bottoms of large steel-plate risers to
resist lateral movement. Secure existing tank pipes inside buildings to prevent them from vibrating
independently.
Support a pipe riser with no offsets at its base by a double-flanged base elbow resting on a concrete
foundation (Figure 9). If an offset is unavoidable and the distance from it to the tank is more than 35 ft (10.7
m) for a flat-bottom tank or 75 ft (22.8 m) for a steel tank with suspended bottom, support the pipe at the
offsetting elbow directly beneath the expansion joint (Figure 8) and at points not over 12 ft (3.7 m) apart
horizontally. Inside a building, provide rigid, lateral bracing for offsets at the base of the riser, and support the
elbow at the base of the vertical pipe by a hanger from the floor. Use a reinforced concrete pier to support
a large steel-plate riser for a tank or an independent tower.

3.6.3 Provision for Expansion in Riser


When a base elbow of a pipe riser without offset is more than 35 ft (10.7 m) from the bottom of a tank, provide
an expansion joint at the tank bottom (Figures 8 and 9). With the more modern, pedestal-supported tanks,
use the expansion joint at the ground end of the pipe riser. It is easier to service at the lower end, and in case
of leakage, the riser pipe insulation will not be wet. If an offset in a pipe riser is more than 35 ft (10.7 m)
from the bottom of a tank, provide an expansion joint, or make the offset a four-elbow swing joint unless it
needs to be supported (Figures 9 and 10). When a four-elbow swing joint is used, rigidly connect the pipe riser
to the bottom of the tank. Provide a four-elbow swing joint at any offset in a pipe riser where the vertical
length of the pipe riser below the offset is more than 35 ft (10.7 m).
Where earthquake-resistant construction is necessary, provide expansion joints of steel or other ductile metal.
Cast iron may be used if FM Approved flexible couplings are installed in the pipe in addition to the expansion
joints.
Rigidly connect the top of a large steel plate riser to the suspended bottom of the tank. For a tank over a
building, rigidly connect the discharge pipe to the base of the riser.

3.6.4 Valves in Riser


Install an FM Approved check valve horizontally in the discharge pipe from a gravity tank. Locate it in a pit
under the tank if the tank is on an independent tower (Figure 10), and in an outside pit if the tank is located
over a building (Figure 7). If yard room is not available, the check valve may be located on the ground floor
or in the basement of a building, provided it is adequately protected against breakage. The check valve
should ordinarily be bossed, drilled, and tapped for a filling bypass.
Provide an FM Approved, indicating-type valve in the discharge pipe on the yard side of the check valve.
Install it between the check valve and any connection of the tank discharge to other piping (Figures 7 and
10). If yard room for an indicator post is not available, a valve similarly arranged but inside the valve pit or
house may be used.
Provide another indicating-type valve in the discharge pipe on the tank side of the check valve. If the tank
is on an independent tower, place this valve in the pit with the check valve, preferably on the yard side of the
base elbow. If the tank is located over a building, place the valve under the roof near the point where the
riser enters the building (Figure 7). Existing earthquake-resistant tank structures over buildings, however,
should have control valves in the tank pipes just above the building roof.

3.6.5 Suction and Break Tank Pipe Connection


The suction pipe may be connected to the side or bottom of a steel tank. An anti-vortex plate or flange is
needed to reduce eddies and the tendency for air to be drawn into the suction pipe during a large flow as the
water level approaches the top of the pipe. The anti-vortex plate should be fabricated from steel and be
configured as follows:
A. When the suction line passes through the side of the tank (Figure 6), provide a 90 degree long radius
elbow down with an anti-vortex plate (minimum in. [6 mm] thick having a diameter or each plan
dimension at least twice the diameter of the suction line) at its end. Locate the anti-vortex plate 6 in. (150
mm) or half the suction line diameter (whichever is greater) above the tank bottom.

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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B. When the suction line enters from the bottom of the tank (Figure 11), extend the suction line least 4
in. (100 mm) above the bottom to act as a silt stop. Locate the anti-vortex plate a minimum of 6 in. (150
mm) or half the diameter of the suction line (whichever is greater) above the end of the suction line. The
anti-vortex plate should be a minimum of in. (6 mm) (but preferably at least 3/8 in. [9.5 mm]) thick, have
each plan dimension at least twice the diameter of the suction line, and be reinforced at the edges with
a 2 x 2 x 1/4 in. (50 x 50 x 6 mm) steel angle on the upper side and provided with vertical support for the
edges of the plate on legs of similar-sized angles welded or bolted to the tank bottom and the reinforcing
angles.
The rated capacity of the tank is the amount of water contained between the overflow inlet and the anti-vortex
plate.
For a concrete tank, the suction pipe may be connected in the same way as to a steel tank, or enter the
sidewall of the tank and extend to a bottom sump. This sump should be at least 5 ft (1.5 m) square and 2
ft (0.6 m) deep. The suction pipe should terminate in a commercial flange-and-flare fitting whose open end
is at least 15 in. (0.38 m) below the tank bottom and in the center of the sump. Pipe passing through concrete
should have a special fitting, such as a wall casting or sleeve with a circular lug, buried in the concrete. The
rated capacity for a tank with such a sump will be the amount of water contained between the overflow inlet
and the bottom of the tank at the sump.

3.6.6 Tank Filling Connections


When a gravity tank is filled from the fire protection system under public water or fire pump pressure, the
filling pipe should be a bypass around the check valve (Figures 7 and 10). Connect the bypass into tapped
bosses on the valve body or into the discharge pipe between the check and main controlling valves. The
bypass should be a 2 in. (50 mm) pipe, but 3 in. (75 mm) pipe may be accepted. Provide an OS&Y gate valve
in the bypass.
When a special pump is used, it should be large enough to fill the gravity tank in 8 hours. The filling pipe
should be steel and at least 2 in. (50 mm) in diameter. It may be connected directly to the tank discharge pipe
(Figure 7). The water supply should be potable if the water in the fire protection mains is. Conversely, if the
fire protection water is non-potable, the filling water should also be from a non-potable source. Provide OS&Y
gate and check valves in the filling pipe near the connections to the tank discharge pipe, with the check valve
on the pump side of the gate valve. Do not connect the filling pipe to a fire service main supplied from the
tank.
Pump suction tanks may be filled through a separate pipe by a special pump or, in some cases, a bypass
around the check valve on the discharge side of the fire pump. Select pipe sizes and arrange the filling pipes
similarly to those for gravity tanks.

3.6.7 Overflow Pipe


Inside overflow drains should be discouraged whenever possible. If the pipe leaks, the tank will drain
unnoticed.
When dripping water or small accumulations of ice are not objectionable, the overflow pipe may pass through
the side of the tank near the top (Figure 4). The pipe should project not more than 4 ft (1.2 m), have a slight
downward pitch, discharge beyond the tank or balcony and away from any ladder, and be adequately
supported. Vertical extensions of pipe to any balcony or below are not recommended because they may plug
with ice.
If dripping water or ice accumulations are objectionable, a gravity tank overflow pipe may be located inside
the tank and extend through the bottom and inside the frost-proof casing or large steel-plate riser. The pipe
will discharge through the casing or riser near ground or roof level. The section of pipe inside the tank and riser
should be of a type shown in Table 5. The inside overflow pipe should be braced to the tank and riser plates
by substantial clamps at points not over 25 ft (7.6 m) apart. The discharge should be visible and the pipe
pitched to drain. If the discharge is exposed, its length should not exceed 4 ft (1.2 m) and should avoid the
entrance to the valve pit or house.

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
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Fig. 7. Gravity tank tower located over a buildling

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Table 5. Pipe Material for Water Storage Tanks


The following materials may be used for pipes provided they meet the standard shown.
Material Standard
Copper Accepted
Brass Accepted
Seamless carbon steel ASTM A-106
Seamless steel Grades A & B ASTM A-53
Cold-drawn, low-carbon steel ASTM A-192
Seamless medium carbon steel ASTM A-210
Proprietary low-allow steel Submit to FM Global for review
Note: Pipe should be Schedule 40. Tube should have a wall thickness approximately equal to the thickness of Schedule 40 pipe of the
same nominal diameter.

3.6.8 Cleanout Opening and Drain Pipes


An FM Approved, steel gravity tank with a large steel-plate riser has a manhole near the base of the riser
(Figures 14 and 15) through which the settling basin can be cleaned. If the tank has a pipe riser and
suspended bottom, a hand-hold is provided in the saucer plate outside the frost-proof casing (Figure 8). FM
Approved flat bottom, steel or wooden tanks have at least a 2 in. (50 mm) diameter clean-out opening outside
the frost-proof casing.
An FM Approved steel suction tank whose top is above the ground has a manhole in the side.
Connect a drain pipe at least 2 in. (50 mm) in diameter near the base of a pipe riser, discharge pipe from
a large steel-plate riser, or vertical suction pipe from a suction tank. If possible, make this connection on the
tank side of all valves. Provide a control valve and 1/2 in. (13 mm) cock for the drain pipe. If the drain pipe
is to be used for a hose stream, the control valve should be an FM Approved unit. Fit the open end of the
drain pipe with a 2-1/2 in. (65 mm) hose connection unless it discharges into a funnel or cistern pipes to a
sewer. If the drain is piped directly to a sewer, provide a sight glass or 3/4 in. (19 mm) test valve on the
underside of the pipe.
If a circulating tank heater is located near the base of the tank riser, connect the drain pipe to the cold-water
return pipe between the cold water valve and the heater. This permits water to be flushed from the tank
through the hot water pipe, heater, and drain (Figure 10).

3.6.9 Water Level Indicator


Gravity and suction tanks should have a means of observing the water level. FM Approved mercury gauges
with mercury catchers or altitude gauges are most commonly used. Mercury gauges must be located in
heated areas where sufficient building height is available for the column. Altitude gauges should have
corrosion resistant cases and be suitable for measuring small head differentials.
Gauges are not important for a tank equipped with a supervised water-level signaling system.

3.7 Valve Enclosures and Frost Protection

3.7.1 Valve Pit or House


When the gravity tank is on an independent tower, provide a valve pit (Figure 10) or a house at the base
of the riser to enclose the valves, tank heater, and other fittings. A valve pit is preferable. When a suction tank
has the suction pipe connected to its bottom, provide a valve pit as shown in Figure 11. The pit or house
should have sufficient headroom and provide at least 12 in. (0.3 m) clearance around all equipment. If
possible, provide 18 in. (0.46 m) of clearance. If the equipment includes a heater with a bolted end, provide
sufficient space to remove the tube assembly for annual cleaning without disturbing the heater shell.
Construct the pit of concrete with the top at least 6 in. (150 mm) above grade. The bottom should be far
enough below grade to place the base elbow below the frost line and at an elevation where connections to
the yard-pipe system can be made conveniently. If a large steel-plate riser is supported on a hollow pier,
provide a slip joint between the pier and valve pit (Figures 14 and 22). Provide a sump and drain if a sewer
or other suitable drainage connection is available. If the pit is below drainage level, waterproof its outside
surfaces and provide a water ejector or sump pump (Figure 20). One method is to paint the pit with asphalt
and cover it with at least two alternating layers of felt and asphalt, over lapping the felt 18 in. (0.46 m).

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
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Fig. 8. Details of pipe connections to bottom of steel gravity tank with pipe riser

If subsurface drainage or rock formations make an above grade valve house more practical, construct it of
concrete, masonry, or cement plaster on metal lath. Provide a solid concrete pier for the base elbow of a pipe
riser or the base of a large steel-plate riser. If the tank has a pipe riser, the main control valve may be placed
in the vertical part of the riser. If it has a large steel-plate riser, connect the discharge pipe to the side of
the riser, and place the main control valve in the horizontal pipe. In any case, locate the check valve in a
pit below grade.
For earthquake-resistant construction, provide a clearance of at least 2 in. (50 mm) around pipes where they
extend through the roof, walls, or floors of the valve pit or house. Install watertight packing or flashing where
necessary to exclude groundwater from the pit.
Provide a standard round manhole in the roof of the valve pit with a cover at least 24 in. (0.6 m) in diameter.
A square, metal manhole with sturdily hinged cover at least 20 in. (0.51 m) on a side, or a raised hatch of

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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Fig. 9. Support and provision for expansion of pipe risers (35 ft = 10.7 m; 75 ft = 22.8 m)

equivalent size with a hinged cover may also be used. Where there is no heater in the pit, the manhole should
have a fitted, inside cover of 2 in. (50 mm) plank or its equivalent located at least 4 in. (100 mm) below the
outer cover. Provide a rigidly secured steel ladder from the manhole to the floor.
If a heater house is built above the valve pit, it should be of noncombustible construction. It also should have
a strong roof to support any planned frost-proof casing and other loads without excessive deflection. Provide
a tight-fitting double door large enough to admit people and equipment.
If the house contains a heater that burns oil or heavier-than-air gas, and is located over a below-grade valve
pit, locate the entrance to the pit outside the heater house.
The portion of the floor over the pit should be of continuous concrete, tightly caulked around all pipes.
Maintain a temperature of at least 40F (4.4C) at all times in a valve pit or house.

3.7.2 Frost-proof Casings


Noncombustible materials are preferred for frost-proof casings or insulation for exposed pipe risers, risers
within pedestal-supported tanks, and exposed discharge pipes from suction tanks (see Figure 12). Protect
insulation exposed to the elements with a weather tight jacket.
In order to meet the minimum insulating R values specified in Recommendation 2.2.6.3, wooden, frost-proof
casings (Figure 13) should not be less than four-ply with two air spaces in localities where the lowest one-day
mean temperature (LODMT) is -20F (-28.9C) or lower. In Figure 23 this corresponds to all -20F (-28.9C)
and colder zones). In Figure 24 the -20F (-28.9C) LODMT line is within the -13F (-25C) zone, so four-ply
casings can be conservatively used in all -13F (-25C) and colder zones. For a LODMT between 0 and

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Fig. 10. Valve pit and pipe connections at base of tank on independent tower (tank has a pipe riser and steam-heated
gravity circulating heating system)

-20F (-17.8 and -28.9C) the casings should be three-ply with two air spaces. In Figure 23 this encompasses
locations within all 0F (-17.8C) to -15F (-26.1C) zones. In Figure 24 this applies to the -4F (-20C) zone
and can be conservatively applied in the entire 5F (-15C) zone. For a LODMT of 0 to 20F (-17.8 to -6.7C)
casings should be at least two-ply with one air space. In Figure 23 this encompasses locations within all 5F
(-15C) to 20F (-6.7C) zones; the zones in Figure 24 do not show these temperature ranges so local data

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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Fig. 11. Discharge pipe connected to bottom of suction tank

would need to be used. In some areas, insulation equipment with a weather tight jacket may be used for
frost-proofing. To prevent settling, insulating material should be of the preformed type or adequately secured
to the pipes and tank bottom.
Where access openings are needed, the covers should have insulating properties equivalent to those of
the casing. Absorbent insulation materials should not be in contact with iron or steel pipes.
A wooden casing of two-ply construction with one air space or the equivalent will usually suffice to protect
piping inside unheated buildings where freezing may occur.

3.8 Tank Heating Equipment


Ice in or on tank structures has been the direct cause of collapse in several cases. Factors contributing to
freeze-ups have been the incorrect arrangement of heating equipment, failure to maintain heating equipment,
forgetting or delaying the start of heating, and failure to maintain sufficient heat over a weekend or other
non-operating period.

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
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Fig. 12. Insulated metal frost-proof casing for tanks having pipe risers

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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Fig. 13. Wooden frost-proof casings

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Fig. 14. Gravity circulation system with aboveground, fuel-fired water heater for tank with large steel-plate riser

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
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Water in gravity or suction tanks loses temperature slowly, a few degrees per day. To prevent freezing in
any part of the tank equipment, the heating system must replace the heat loss from the tank and piping when
the temperature of the coldest water is just above the freezing point and the one-day mean atmospheric
temperature is at its lowest for the locality.
Figure 23 shows zones indicating the lowest one-day, mean temperatures (LODMT) and the 30F (-1.1C)
normal daily minimum temperature (NDMT) line for January in the United States and Canada. Figure 24
shows zones indicating the LODMT in Europe. The temperature zone name in Figure 23 and Figure 24
indicates the LODMT at the warm side of the zone. For example, in Figure 23, the -5F (-20.6C) zone ranges
from -5F (-20.6C) at its warm (usually southernmost) side to -10F (-23.3C) at its cold (usually
northernmost) side. Zones in Figure 24 are similar, but since the Figure 24 temperatures were originally in
Celsius the zone names differ from those in Figure 23. In Figure 24 a -4F (-20C) zone will be -4F (-20C)
at its warm side and, where it adjoins a colder area, will be -13F (-25C) at its cold side (where the zone
does not adjoin a colder zone, the temperature indicated is the LODMT within the entire zone).
If record-breaking cold spells occur in borderline areas, a flow of water through the tank will prevent freezing.
Care should be taken that ice buildup due to overflow does not create dangerous conditions. If necessary,
ice on the surface of the tank should be broken manually.
Heating in sprinkler tanks rates next in importance to their structural design. Heating systems should be
reliable, convenient, and economical. To determine the proper amount of heat for a sprinkler tank, the lowest
one-day mean temperature should be used in conjunction with Tables 6-9.

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
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Table 6-US Heat Loss from Uninsulated Steel Gravity Tanks (U.S. Customary Units).
(Thousands of British thermal units lost per hour when the temperature of the coldest water is 42F.
Mean water temperature is 54F.)
Heat
Add Btu/hr/lin ft
Loss, Tank Capacity, U.S. gal 1000
Uninsulated Steel
Btu/hr/ft2 50 75 100 150 200 250 300 Riser
Atmospheric Tank (1,800)* (2,370) (2,845) (3,705) (4,470) (5,240) (5,905)
3 ft 4 ft
Temperature, Radlating
Btu Lost per Hour (thousands) dia dia
F Surface
15 93.6 169 222 267 347 419 491 553 519 692
10 110.9 200 263 316 411 496 582 655 670 893
5 128.9 233 306 367 478 577 676 762 820 1,092
0 148.5 268 352 423 551 664 779 877 982 1,309
5 168.7 304 400 480 626 755 884 997 1,152 1,536
10 190.7 344 452 543 707 853 1,000 1,127 1,329 1,771
15 213.2 384 506 607 790 954 1,118 1,259 1,515 2,020
20 236.8 427 562 674 878 1,059 1,241 1,399 1,718 2,291
25 262.3 473 622 747 972 1,173 1,375 1,549 1,926 2,568
30 288.1 519 683 820 1,068 1,288 1,510 1,702 2,145 2,860
35 316.0 569 749 900 1,171 1,413 1,656 1,866 2,381 3,174
40 344.0 620 816 979 1,275 1,538 1,803 2,032 2,620 3,494
50 405.6 731 962 1,154 1,503 1,814 2,126 2,396 3,139 4,186
*
Numbers in parentheses are square feet of tank surface used for each capacity to compute the tabulated heat-loss values, and are typical
for tanks with D/4 ellipsoidal roofs and bottoms

Table 6-SI. Heat Loss from Uninsulated Steel Gravity Tanks (SI Units).
(Kilowatts lost when the temperature of the coldest water is 5.6C. Mean water temperature is 12.2C).
Heat Add W/lin m
Tank Capacity, m3 Uninsulated Steel
Loss,
Atmospheric W/m2 189 284 379 568 757 946 1136 Riser
Temperature, Tank (167)* (220) (264) (344) (415) (478) (549) 0.91 m 1.2 m
C Surface Kilowatts Lost dia dia
-10 305.0 51 67 81 105 127 146 167 872 1150
-12 347.6 58 76 92 120 144 166 191 994 1310
-15 406.6 68 89 107 140 169 194 223 1162 1533
-18 478.2 80 105 126 165 198 229 263 1367 1803
-21 548.3 92 121 145 189 228 262 301 1568 2067
-23 600.0 100 132 158 206 249 287 329 1715 2262
-26 677.9 113 149 179 233 281 324 372 1938 2556
-29 759.3 127 167 200 261 315 363 417 2171 2862
-32 872.2 146 192 230 300 362 417 479 2493 3288
-34 903.8 151 199 239 311 375 432 496 2584 3407
-37 996.2 166 219 263 343 413 476 547 2848 3756
-40 1085.2 181 239 286 373 450 519 596 3102 4091
-45 1259.3 210 277 332 433 523 602 691 3600 4747
*
Numbers in parentheses are square meters of tank surface used for each capacity to compute the tabulated heat loss values, and are
typical for tanks with D/4 ellipsoidal roofs and bottoms.

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Table 7-US. Heat Loss from Uninsulated Steel Suction Tanks (U.S. Customary Units)
(Thousands of British thermal units lost per hour when the temperature of the coldest water is 42F). (Mean water
temperature is 54F.)
Heat
Tank Capacity, U.S. gal 1000
Loss,
Btu/hr/ft2 100 150 200 250 300 400 500 750 1,000
Atmospheric Tank (2,610)* (3,505) (4,175) (4,795) (5,360) (6,375) (7,355) (9,650) (11,740)
Temperature, Radiating
Btu Lost per Hour (thousands)
F Surface
15 93.6 244 328 391 449 502 597 688 903 1099
10 110.9 289 389 463 532 594 707 816 1070 1302
5 128.9 336 452 538 618 691 822 948 1244 1513
0 148.5 388 520 620 712 796 947 1092 1433 1743
-5 168.7 440 591 704 809 904 1075 1241 1628 1981
-10 190.7 498 668 796 914 1022 1216 1403 1840 2239
-15 213.2 556 747 890 1022 1143 1359 1568 2057 2503
-20 236.8 618 830 989 1135 1269 1510 1742 2285 2780
-25 262.3 685 919 1095 1258 1406 1672 1929 2531 3079
-30 288.1 752 1010 1203 1381 1544 1837 2119 2780 3382
-35 316.0 825 1108 1319 1515 1694 2014 2324 3049 3710
-40 344.0 898 1206 1436 1649 1844 2193 2530 3320 4039
-50 405.6 1059 1422 1693 1945 2174 2586 2983 3914 4762
*
Numbers in parentheses are square feet of surface used for each capacity to compute the tabulated heat-loss values, and they are typical
for cone-roof reservoirs on grade.

Table 7-SI. Heat Loss from Uninsulated Steel Suction Tanks (SI Units)
(Kilowatts lost per hour when the temperature of the coldest water is 5.6C.) (Mean water temperature is 12.2C)
Heat
Tank Capacity, m3
Loss,
W/m2 379 568 757 946 1136 1514 1893 2839 3785
Atmospheric Tank (243)* (326) (388) (445) (498) (592) (683) (897) (1091)
Temperature, Radiating
Kilowatts Lost
C Surface
-10 305.0 74 99 118 136 152 181 208 274 333
-12 347.6 84 113 135 155 173 206 237 312 379
-15 406.6 99 133 158 181 202 241 278 365 444
-18 478.2 108 145 172 197 221 263 303 398 484
-21 548.3 133 179 213 244 273 325 374 492 598
-23 600.0 146 196 233 267 299 355 410 538 655
-26 677.9 165 221 263 302 338 401 463 608 740
-29 759.3 185 248 295 338 378 450 519 681 828
-32 872.2 212 284 338 388 434 516 596 782 952
-34 903.8 220 295 351 402 450 535 617 811 986
-37 996.2 242 325 387 443 496 590 680 894 1087
-40 1085.2 264 354 421 483 540 642 741 973 1184
-45 1259.3 306 411 489 560 627 746 860 1130 1374
*
Numbers in parentheses are square meters of surface used for each capacity to compute the tabulated heat loss values, and they are
typical for cone-roof reservoirs on grade.

Tables 6 and 7 show the heat loss from uninsulated steel gravity tanks and steel suction tanks exposed to
atmospheric temperatures between 15 and -50F (-9.4 and -45.6C). They also indicate the capacity in
thousands of Btu (kilowatts) per hour that the heating system should supply.
Tables 8 and 9 show heat losses for insulated steel gravity and suction tanks.
Heat loss for a size tank not shown in the tables may be obtained by multiplying the surface area by the
tabulated heat loss per ft2 (m2) for the atmospheric temperature. The surface area is the wetted surface area

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exposed to atmosphere plus the water surface area. For tanks with large steel-plate risers, the heat loss
from the riser must be added to that from the tank. No heat loss need be figured for tank bottoms resting
on grade.

Table 8-US. Heat Loss from Insulated* Steel Gravity Tanks (U.S. Customary Units).
(Thousands of British thermal units lost per hour when the temperature of the coldest water is 42F.
Mean water temperature is 54F.)
Heat Add Btu/hr/lin ft
Loss, Tank Capacity, U.S. gal 1000 Insulated Steel
Atmospheric Btu/hr/ft2 50 75 100 150 200 250 300 Riser
**
Temperature, Tank (1,800) (2,370) (2,845) (3,705) (4,470) (5,240) (5,905) 3 ft dia 4 ft dia
F Surface Btu Lost per Hour (thousands)
15 3.90 7.02 9.24 11.10 14.45 17.43 20.4 23.0 36.8 49.0
10 4.40 7.92 10.43 12.52 16.30 19.67 23.1 26.0 41.5 55.3
5 4.90 8.82 11.61 13.94 18.15 21.9 25.7 28.9 46.2 61.6
0 5.40 9.72 12.79 15.36 20.0 24.1 28.3 31.9 50.9 67.9
-5 5.90 10.62 13.98 16.79 21.9 26.4 30.9 34.8 55.6 74.1
-10 6.40 11.52 15.17 18.21 23.1 28.6 33.5 37.8 60.3 80.4
-15 6.90 12.42 16.35 19.36 25.6 30.8 36.2 40.1 65.0 86.7
-20 7.40 13.32 17.54 21.1 27.4 33.1 38.8 43.1 69.7 93.0
-25 7.90 14.22 18.72 22.5 29.3 35.3 41.4 46.6 74.5 99.3
-30 8.40 15.12 19.91 23.9 31.1 37.5 44.0 49.6 79.2 105.6
-35 8.90 16.02 21.1 25.3 33.0 39.8 46.6 52.6 83.9 111.8
-40 9.40 16.92 22.3 26.7 34.8 42.0 49.3 55.5 88.6 118.1
-50 10.40 18.72 24.6 28.6 38.5 46.5 54.5 61.4 98.0 130.7
*
Based on an R factor of 10 hr-ft2-F/Btu.
**
Numbers in parentheses are square feet of tank surface used for each capacity to compute the tabulated heat loss values, and are typical
for tanks with D/4 ellipsoidal roofs and bottoms.

Table 8-SI. Heat Loss from Insulated* Steel Gravity Tanks (SI Units).
(Kilowatts lost when the temperature of the coldest water is 5.6C. Mean water temperature is 12.2C)
Heat Add W/lin m
Tank Capacity, m3 Insulated Steel
Loss,
Atmospheric W/m2 of 189 284 379 568 757 946 1136 Riser
**
Temperature, Tank (167) (220) (264) (344) (415) (437) (549) 0.9 m 1.2 m
C Surface Kilowatts Lost dia dia
-10 12.61 2.11 2.77 3.33 4.34 5.23 6.14 6.92 36.1 47.6
-12 13.75 2.30 3.03 3.63 4.73 5.71 6.70 7.55 39.3 51.8
-15 15.45 2.58 3.40 4.08 5.32 6.41 7.53 8.48 44.2 58.3
-18 17.16 2.87 3.77 4.53 5.90 7.12 8.36 9.42 49.1 64.7
-21 18.86 3.15 4.15 4.98 6.49 7.83 9.19 10.36 53.9 71.1
-23 20.00 3.34 4.40 5.28 6.88 8.30 9.74 10.98 57.2 75.4
-26 21.70 3.62 4.77 5.73 7.47 9.01 10.57 11.92 62.1 81.8
-29 23.41 3.91 5.15 6.18 8.05 9.71 11.40 12.85 66.9 88.3
-32 25.11 4.19 5.52 6.63 8.64 10.42 12.23 13.79 71.8 94.7
-34 26.25 4.38 5.78 6.93 9.03 10.89 12.78 14.41 75.0 99.0
-37 27.95 4.67 6.15 7.38 9.62 11.60 13.61 15.35 79.9 105.4
-40 29.66 4.95 6.52 7.83 10.20 12.31 14.44 16.26 84.8 111.8
-45 32.50 5.43 7.15 8.58 11.18 13.49 15.83 17.84 92.9 122.5
*
Based on an R factor of 1.76m2-C/W.
**
Numbers in parentheses are square meters of tank surface used for each capacity to compute the tabulated heat loss values, and are
typical for tanks with D/4 ellipsoidal roofs and bottoms.

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Table 9-US. Heat Loss from Steel Suction Tanks. Walls and Roof Insulated* (U.S. Customary Units).
(Thousands of British thermal units lost per hour when the temperature of the coldest water is 42F. Mean is 54F.)
Heat Tank Capacity, U.S. gal 1000
Loss, 100 150 200 250 300 400 500 750 1,000
Atmospheric Btu/hr/ft2 (2,610)* * (3,505) (4,175) (4,795) (5,360) (6,375) (7,355) (9.650) (11,740)
Temperature, Tank
F Surface Btu Lost per Hour (thousands)
15 3.90 10.2 13.7 16.3 18.7 20.9 24.9 28.7 37.6 45.8
10 4.40 11.5 15.4 18.4 21.1 23.6 28.1 32.4 42.5 51.7
5 4.90 12.8 17.2 20.5 23.5 26.3 31.2 36.0 47.3 57.5
0 5.40 14.1 18.9 22.5 25.9 28.9 34.4 39.7 52.1 63.4
-5 5.90 15.4 20.7 24.6 28.3 31.6 37.6 43.4 56.9 69.3
-10 6.40 16.7 22.4 26.7 30.7 34.3 40.8 47.1 61.8 75.1
-15 6.90 18.0 24.2 28.8 33.1 37.0 44.0 50.7 66.6 81.0
-20 7.40 19.3 25.9 30.9 35.5 39.7 47.2 54.4 71.4 86.9
-25 7.90 20.6 27.7 33.0 37.9 42.3 50.4 58.1 76.2 92.7
-30 8.40 21.9 29.4 35.1 40.3 45.0 53.6 61.8 81.1 98.6
-35 8.90 23.2 31.2 37.2 42.7 47.7 56.7 65.5 85.9 104.5
-40 9.40 24.5 32.9 39.2 45.1 50.4 59.9 69.1 90.7 110.4
-50 10.40 27.1 36.5 43.4 49.9 55.7 66.3 76.5 100.4 122.1
*
Based on an R factor of 10 hr-ft2-F/Btu.
**
Heat admitted to tank water from the ground not included. Numbers in parentheses are square feet of surface used for each capacity to
compute the tabulated heat loss values.

Table 9-SI. Heat Loss from Steel Suction Tanks. Walls and Roof Insulated* (SI Units).
(Kilowatts lost when the temperature of the coldest water is 5.6C. Mean water temperature is 12.2C)
Heat Tank Capacity, m3
Loss, 379 568 757 946 1136 1514 1893 2839 3785
Atmospheric W/m2 of (243)
**
(326) (388) (445) (498) (592) (683) (897) (1091)
Temperature, Tank
C Surface Kilowatts Lost
-10 12.61 3.06 4.11 4.89 5.61 6.28 7.47 8.61 11.31 13.76
-12 13.75 3.34 4.48 5.34 6.12 6.85 8.14 9.39 12.33 15.00
-15 15.45 3.75 5.04 5.99 6.88 7.69 9.15 10.55 13.86 16.86
-18 17.16 4.17 5.59 6.66 7.64 8.55 10.16 11.72 15.39 18.72
-21 18.86 4.58 6.15 7.32 8.39 9.39 11.17 12.88 16.92 20.6
-23 20.00 4.86 6.52 7.76 8.90 9.96 11.84 13.66 17.94 21.8
-26 21.70 5.27 7.07 8.42 9.66 10.81 12.85 14.82 19.46 23.7
-29 23.41 5.69 7.63 9.08 10.42 11.66 13.86 15.99 21.0 25.5
-32 25.11 6.10 8.19 9.74 11.17 12.50 14.87 17.15 22.5 27.4
-34 26.25 6.38 8.56 10.18 11.68 13.07 15.54 17.93 23.5 28.6
-37 27.95 6.79 9.11 10.84 12.44 13.92 16.55 19.09 25.1 30.5
-40 29.66 7.21 9.67 11.51 13.20 14.77 17.56 20.3 26.6 32.4
-45 32.50 7.90 10.60 12.61 14.46 16.18 19.24 22.2 29.2 35.5
*
Based on an R factor of 1.76m2-C/W
**
Heat admitted to tank water from the ground not included. Numbers in parentheses are square meters of surface used for each capacity
to compute the tabulated heat loss values.

3.8.1 Insulating of Tanks


Heat loss from steel tanks can be greatly reduced by the application of insulation. Exterior insulation is
preferred and must be protected from weather and deterioration. Interior insulation is an allowable, but not
preferred, option and can only be used if it is installed behind a flexible liner (see Section 3.1.7) and attached
to the interior surface of the tank shell plates. Additionally, the tank net capacity must be reduced for the
volume of the interior insulation.
Since the insulating value (R factor) of materials can vary, it should be based on the specific material chosen.
Approximate values are provided in Table 10. The heat conductivity or heat transmission of a material is
the reciprocal of the R factor (i.e., 1/R).

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See FM Approvals Standard 4020 for specific requirements regarding interior insulation. When allowed by
FM Approvals, interior insulation must have a minimum nominal density of 1.8 lb/ft3 (30 kg/m3), and a
compressive strength corresponding to 1% nominal compression at 14.5 psi (100 kPa). The insulation must
also be made of flame-retardant material. At least two galvanized fixing bracket attachments per insulating
board at all horizontal seams are to be used. These attachments must be configured or covered so they
do not damage the liner under normal or earthquake (in FM Global 50-year through 500-year earthquake
zones) conditions. Interior insulation should ideally have limited potential for moisture retention and/or
insulating properties that are not severely affected if the insulation becomes wet. The liner material should be
impermeable. Anchorage of the liner at the top of the tank shell and details of the overflow inlet and freeboard
should prevent tank overfilling (or sloshing water during an earthquake) from spilling behind the liner and
into the space between the insulation and the tank shell.
Polyurethane foam can be sprayed on the tank exterior to the desired thickness. The surface should be
prepared for foaming in accordance with the foam manufacturers directions. An elastomeric type coating is
needed to protect the foamed plastic from the weather. There is a potential fire hazard when polyurethane
is used in this manner; see Data Sheet 1-57, Plastics in Construction, for guidelines.
Board stock polyurethane also can be used as exterior insulation, along with glass fiber and cellular glass
boards. A metal jacket is placed over the insulation for protection. Mechanical means such as circumferential
metal bands or welded studs are necessary to keep the jacket and insulation boards on the tank during
severe windstorms. Use 2-1/2 in. (64 mm) thick glass fiber board, or 4 in. (100 mm) thick cellular glass board
to obtain an R value of about 10.
For other R values, use:
Heat Loss U.S. Customary Units = Tabulated x (10/R) or Heat Loss SI units = Tabulated x (1.76/R)
To obtain R values for various types of insulation used on tanks, multiply the value in Table 10 by the thickness
of insulation in inches (mm).

Table 10. R Values Per Inch (mm) of Insulation


Insulation Type R (hr-ft2-F/Btu-in) R (m2-C/W-mm)
Polystyrene (expanded) 3.6 0.025
PVC foam 5.9 0.041
Foamed glass 2.9 0.020
Glass fiber 4.5 0.031
Urethane, < 6 lb/ft3 (< 96 kg/m3) 7.1 0.049
Urethane, 7-10 lb/ft3 (112-160 kg/m3) 4.6 0.032
Urethane, 15 lb/ft3 (240 kg/m3) 3.4 0.024

3.8.2 Circulating Heating Systems


There are two types of circulating heating systems; gravity and forced. With either system, cold water from
a connection to the discharge pipe or near the bottom of a suction tank flows through a cold water pipe to
a heater. It then rises into the tank through a separate hot water pipe.
Manually-controlled gravity systems require close supervision to prevent freeze-ups and attain economical
operation. Automatic controls, while initially more expensive, require less supervision, which results in more
economical operation. The heat-sensing element of the automatic control must be placed at a point where
it will sense the true temperature of the tank water.
Forced systems (Figure 16) using an electric motor-driven circulating pump are always automatically
controlled. This results in more economical operation than with manually controlled gravity systems. A reliable
electric supply is required. A forced circulation system is necessary if the tank is a considerable distance
from a heated building, and the circulating pipes are below grade. The pump should have a rated head of
at least 5 psi (34.5 kPa) above the friction loss in the pipes at rated capacity, and a rated capacity of at least
10 gpm (0.038 m3/min).
Steam-Heated Water Heaters. FM Approved steam heaters consist of an iron or steel shell through which
water circulates around steam tubes or coils. It is not generally necessary to wrap steam heaters that are
heated with circulating steam and water. With some heaters, the water passes through the tubes or coils.

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These heaters are wrapped with insulating material and have straight tubes. When the bolted heads are
removed from the heater, the tubes can be cleaned by thrusting a tool through them.
Locate a steam-heated water heater in a valve pit, heater house or building at or near the base of the tank
structure. When the building is below the tank, the steam heater should be located in the top story. When
the tank heater is the only source of heat in a valve pit or other enclosure, leave enough of the heater or steam
pipe bare to keep the temperature in the enclosure above freezing.
Do not use hot water as the medium in a heater designed for steam.
If two or more heaters are used (Figure 17), place them on the same level, and connect them in parallel
with symmetrical piping, with relief and control valves in each water line. Provide a globe valve in each steam
supply line.
Steam-heated water heaters require steam at a constantly available pressure of 10 to 50 psi (69 to 345 kPa)
(0.69 to 3.45 bar). Intermittent steam supply from a source that is automatically controlled by the air
temperature in a building is not suitable for tank heating. The supply pipe should be at least 1 in. (25 mm)
in diameter and run directly from the boiler header if possible. Provide a globe valve in the steam line near the
heater and a steam gauge between this valve and the heater.
Arrange the condensate-return pipe to quickly relieve heaters of condensate. Provide a steam trap equipped
with an automatic air vent and, preferably, a water gauge near the heater whenever the return is not by gravity
or to a vacuum system. Provide a 3/4 in. (19 mm) or larger bypass, with a normally shut globe valve around
the trap. Provide a globe valve on each side of the trap between the bypass connections.
Gravity return may be used only when the heater is located well above the boiler water level. The steam
pressure at the condensate end of the heater plus the static head of water in the return pipe must be greater
than the steam pressure at the boiler. A pressure vacuum gauge and siphon should be installed near the
condensate end of the heater.
When the heater is connected to a steam supply of very low pressure, 0 to 5 psi (0 to 34 kPa) (0 to 0.34
bar) or vacuum system, the layout should have the approval of the heating equipment manufacturer. The
following equipment is needed:
1. A pressure vacuum gauge with siphon in the steam supply and condensate pipes near the heater and
a plugged globe valve in a short test pipe connected to the condensate-return pipe near any trap.
2. A steam trap and vacuum pump if the water is not high enough above the boiler water level to completely
drain all return piping. The trap should be specially designed for a vacuum system, and automatically
liberate air and prevent air binding.
3. If reverse flow may occur, provide a 3 ft (0.9 m) U in the cold water circulating pipe, or convert the
gravity circulating system to a forced system.
Electric- Gas-, and Oil-Fired Water Heaters. If an adequate steam supply is not available from the plants
main boilers, an FM Approved electric, gas-, or oil-fired water heater of sufficient strength to resist expected
water pressure may be used. A coal-fired heater may be converted to the oil or gas-firing type. These heaters
must be equipped with combustion and over-pressure safeguards.
Locate the water heater or boiler in a noncombustible house at the base of a tank that has an independent
tower or in the boiler room if the tank is on a building. Arrange fuel oil storage and piping, and fuel gas piping
according to applicable standards.
Carry the products of combustion from gas or oil-fired water heaters outdoors through a flue or chimney
sized in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations. Equip flues from gas-fired water heaters with
a draft hood. Avoid discharge of gas and smoke against steel parts of the tank structure.
Provide openings in the walls of the heater house or room containing a fuel-fired heater to provide sufficient
fresh air for complete combustion of the fuel at all firing rates. Provide at least 1 ft2 (0.09 m2) of free opening
for every 2 million Btu/hr (586 kW) of fuel burned. Locate openings so that they will not be obstructed by
snow.
Water Circulating Pipes. The water circulating pipes used in gravity heating systems for wooden tanks should
be at least 2 in. (50 mm) in diameter; for steel tanks, they should be sized in accordance with Table 11. The
pipe should be of a type shown in Table 5.

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Fig. 15. Gravity circulation heating system with steam heater for tank with large steel-plate riser

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Fig. 16. Forced circulation heating system with gas heaters for tank with large steel-plate riser

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Fig. 17. Piping arrangement for multiple steam water heaters for gravity circulation system

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Table 11-US. Size of Water-circulating Pipes for Steel Gravity Tanks (U.S. Customary Units)
Lowest 1-day
Mean Size (in.) for Tank Capacity (U.S. gal) Shown
Temperature, F 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 75,000 100,000 150,000
10 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2-12
5 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2-12
0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1
2- 2 2-12
5 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2-12 2-12
10 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2-12 2-12 2-12
15 2 2 2 2 2 2 2-12 2-12 2-12 3
20 2 2 2 2 2 2-12 2-12 2-12 2-12 3
25 2 2 2 2 2-12 2-12 2-12 2-12 3 3
30 2 2 2 2 1
2- 2 1
2- 2 1
2- 2 2-12 3 3
35 2 2 2 2-12 2-12 2-12 2-12 3 3 3
40 2 2 2 2-12 2-12 2-12 2-12 3 3 3

Table 11-SI. Size of Water Circulating Pipes for Steel Gravity Tanks (SI Units)
Lowest 1-Day
Mean Size (mm) for Tank Capacity (m3) Shown
Temperature,C 57 76 95 114 151 189 227 284 379 568
12 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 64
15 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 64
18 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 64 64
21 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 64 64
23 51 51 51 51 51 51 51 64 64 64
26 51 51 51 51 51 51 64 64 64 76
29 51 51 51 51 51 64 64 64 64 76
32 51 51 51 51 64 64 64 64 76 76
34 51 51 51 51 64 64 64 64 76 76
37 51 51 51 64 64 64 64 76 76 76
40 51 51 51 64 64 64 64 76 76 76

A single hot-water outlet located between the one-half and one-third water depth of modern tanks (elliptical,
spherical, or spheroidal shapes) has provided adequate hot water distribution. For older tanks (with flat or
hemispherical bottoms) where water depths are greater, two outlets at the one-third and two-third depths have
been used successfully.
If a column-supported gravity tank has a pipe riser, place the hot water pipe near the riser inside the frost-proof
casing. Pitch the pipe upward at all points unless a circulating pump is installed. Provide a swing joint in
the pipe just above the heater. An adequately supported brass expansion joint may be used just below the
gate valve near the tank bottom if the riser expansion joint is accessible from a platform. The swing joint
should have four elbows if the connection to the heater is a vertical pipe; if horizontal, three elbows will suffice.
Provide OS&Y gate valves in the pipe near the heater, and also just below its connection to the tank inside
the frost-proof casing. If there is no suspended platform and walkway at the tank bottom, make the upper
gate accessible from the tower ladder by an extension stem. If a gravity tank has a large steel-plate riser,
extend the hot-water pipe from the heater through the bottom or side of the riser just above the heater. Then,
run the hot water pipe inside a type of pipe shown in Table 5 of sufficient size to provide a 3/4 in. (19 mm)
space between the hot water and the outer pipes. The outer pipe may contain air (as indicated in Figures
14 and 15) or water. If it contains water, provide a 3/8 in. (10 mm) drain hole near the base and make provision
for expansion. The outer pipe and the water or air-filled space between it and the hot-water pipe are needed
to minimize heat loss from the hot-water pipe to the water in the riser. Connect the cold-water circulating
pipe into the riser of a gravity tank with a pipe riser, or into the discharge pipe from a large steel-plate riser
or suction tank at a point ahead of the main control valves so that there will be circulation throughout the
entire portion of the riser or discharge pipe that is subject to freezing. Install an OS&Y gate valve in the
cold-water circulating pipe at this connection to control the flow.

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Connect a 2 in. (50 mm) drain pipe (discharging at a visible point) to the cold-water return pipe between
the heater and the cold-water control valve. This will permit water to be flushed from the tank through the
hot-water pipe, heater, and drain for cleanout.
Provide a thermometer, graduated to at least 30F (-1.1C), in the cold-water circulating pipe where it will
register the temperature of the coldest circulating water in the system.
A cold or hot-water circulating pipe that would lose considerable water if broken outside a tank should have
an accessible OS&Y gate valve just outside the tank plate. Brace and support circulation piping throughout
at points not more than 25 ft (7.6 m) apart.
Avoid long runs of nearly horizontal pipe and pockets or an excessive number of fittings in the hot water
circulating pipe. These occasionally cause a gravity system to start circulating in the wrong direction, and
may result in excessive pounding when the circulation rights itself. If this occurs after a system is installed,
it may be overcome by installing a pocket with several elbows in the cold-water circulating pipe to increase
the friction loss, or converting to a forced system with a circulating pump and bypass.
Provide a relief valve in the water chamber or pipe between the hot and cold water valves of any water heater.
This valve should be adjusted to open at 120 psi (827 kPa) (8.3 bar). However, the opening pressure should
not be greater than the allowable working pressure of the heater, or less than the maximum static or filling
pressure to which it may be subjected. If the heater is near stock that may be damaged by water, pipe the relief
discharge to a safe point.
Manual Operation of Gravity Circulation Systems. To place the heating system in service, open wide valves
A, B and C (Figure 18) in the water circulating pipes. Turn on the steam or start fuel-fired heaters. When
first admitting steam, blow all air from steam heaters, pipe, and traps with the air valve or vent on, or in the
steam trap if an inverted bucket trap is not provided.
Read the thermometer in the cold-water return pipe daily during freezing weather. This reading shows the
temperature of the coldest water if the heat is turned on and the water is circulating properly.
Regulate the heat supply to maintain the temperature of the cold water between 42 and 50F (5.6 and 10C).
It is unnecessary and uneconomical to maintain higher temperatures.
Determine whether the water is circulating by simultaneously feeling the hot water pipe with one hand and
cold water pipe with the other. An appreciable difference indicates good circulation. Unusually high
temperatures in the cold water pipe near the heater indicate that the water is not circulating properly.
Steam pressure may be regulated by throttling the steam valve by hand.
Avoid excessive pressure in the heater by shutting off or removing the source of heat when both valves in
the circulating pipes are closed. This precaution should be taken even though a relief valve is correctly located
and adjusted.
Automatic Operation of Gravity Circulation Systems. The steam supply to a gravity circulation system may
be automatically controlled by 1) a solenoid or electric motor operated valve in the steam supply pipe, or by
2) a non-electric temperature regulator with the control valve in the steam supply pipe. Actuate the steam
control valve by a temperature-sensing element in the cold-water circulating pipe, or the cold water near the
bottom of the tank or about 5 ft (1.5 m) above the base of a large steel-plate riser. Provide a socket
thermometer near the sensing element.
A valve operated by non-electric controls, usually a spring or weight and lever, has a wide differential. That
is, it operates gradually and requires several degrees difference in water temperature to be fully open or
closed.
Electric controls that have a differential of only 1 to 3F (0.5 to 1.6C) may be obtained for an electrically-
operated valve, which acts more quickly and efficiently. If the temperature-sensing element is in the cold-water
circulating pipe, the water must be continuously circulated in freezing weather. This may be accomplished
by providing a small aperture in the steam control valve or a small orifice plate in a bypass around the control
valve. These will pass sufficient steam when the valve is closed to slowly circulate water in the piping over
the temperature-sensing element. When the element is in the cold water near the bottom of the tank or about
5 ft (1.5 m) above the base of a large steel-plate riser, continuous circulation is not necessary.

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Fig. 18. Schematic diagram of gravity circulation heating system

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Install the automatic steam control valve in a full-sized bypass around the manual steam supply valve to
the tank heater, with a globe valve on each side of the control valve. Install a drip trap and strainer ahead
of the automatic steam control valve.
Gas- and oil-fired gravity circulation water heaters also may be automatically controlled by the temperature
of the coldest water in the tank or riser, as noted above.
The electrically-operated control valve should be in the fuel-supply pipe.
Automatic controls should activate the heater when the temperature of the coldest water drops to about 42F
(5.6C). Place the heating system in service in the same manner as for manual operation of gravity circulation
systems.
Control and Operation of Forced Circulation Systems. A forced-circulation system (Figure 16) is the most
efficient and economical. With steam heat, the supply is controlled by a solenoid or electric motor-operated
valve in the steam-supply pipe. Install this steam-control valve in a full-sized bypass around a manual steam
supply valve to the tank heater, with a globe valve on each side of the control valve. Actuate the control valve
by a temperature sensing element in the cold-water circulating pipe set at 40F (4.4C). It should have a
small operating differential, not over 3 to 4F (1.7 to 2.2C).
Install a drip trap and strainer ahead of the automatic steam control valve. Arrange an outside thermostat
so that the circulating pump will operate when atmospheric temperature drops to 40F (4.4C). Arrange the
control circuit so that heat will not be supplied unless the circulating pump is operating (Figure 19).
Electric, gas-, or oil-fired water heaters also may be used in a forced circulation system. For those heaters,
the water-temperature-sensing element activates the heating power supply or the gas or oil burner.
Occasionally, condensation occurs within direct-fired coil type heaters used in forced-circulation systems.
This is the result of too great a flow through the heater, and the small resulting water temperature rise. It is
corrected by the use of a bypass across the heater(s) (Figure 16) so that only a portion of the circulating
cold water passes through them. This gives a higher temperature rise through the unit(s) and eliminates
condensation. Improper adjustment of the bypass valves may allow too little water through the heaters and
cause them to cycle on their high-limit controls.
Size of Heater. To determine the size of the heater for a circulating system:
1. Obtain the lowest one-day mean temperature (LODMT) for the locality from Figure 23 or Figure 24.
2. Read the total heat loss from the tank in Btu/hr (watts) directly from Table 6 or 8 for a steel gravity tank
or Table 7 or 9 for a steel suction tank.
3. If a tank has a large steel-plate riser, add the heat lost from the tank and the riser (as shown in Table
6 or 8) for total heat lost.
4. Select FM Approved heaters or boilers having a capacity sufficient to supply the necessary amount
of heat.
5. The heater should have an allowable working pressure at least as great as the maximum pressure to
which it may be subjected by the static head from the tank, or the pressure used when filling the tank.

3.8.3 Vertical Radiator Heaters


Vertical radiator heaters (Figures 20 and 22) are acceptable for heating elevated tanks that have large
steel-plate risers. The vertical radiator heater should have a sleeve surrounding the radiator element to
properly circulate heated water. With this arrangement, cold water enters the lower end of the sleeve, is heated
by the radiator, rises, and discharges into the tank through the tee outlet.
The radiator element should consist of a vertical steam pipe contained within a watertight condensing chamber
of copper water tubing, cast-iron pipe, or brass (85% copper) pipe. It must be large enough to give 3/4 in.
(19 mm) clearance around the steam pipe and any couplings used, but never less than 4 in. (102 mm) in
diameter.
The steam pipe inside the condensing chamber should be large enough to convey the quantity of steam
required, but not less than 1-1/2 in. (38 mm) in diameter, and extend to within 1 ft (0.3 m) of the top of the
condensing chamber.

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Fig. 19. Automatic control circuit for forced circulation system for heating water in tanks

The sleeve that surrounds the radiator element should have its lower end open and extending from a point
about 4 ft (1.2 mm) above the base of the large steel-plate riser to a tee outlet at about one-third the height
of the tank.
Make the sleeve of the pipe at least 2 in. (50 mm) greater in diameter than the radiator element. The extension
above the radiator element and the outlet of the tee should be 2 1/2 in. (63 mm) or larger in diameter.
The steam-supply pipe to the condensing chamber should be large enough to convey the quantity of steam
required, but not less than 1-1/2 in. (38 mm) in diameter. If steam is supplied by a boiler located far from
the tank, provide a trap arrangement (as shown in Figure 21) for the steam supply and condensate-return
pipes. If the steam supply is from a separate boiler above grade near the tank (Figure 22), the steam pipe
inside the condensing chamber should have several 1/4 in. (6.3 mm) holes below the water level of the boiler,
and be pitched upward from the top of the boiler to the connection in the condensing chamber. In either case,
the condensate-return pipe should be at least 3/4 in. (19 mm) in diameter.
Support and brace the radiator, sleeve, and sleeve extension above the radiator at points no more than 25
ft (7.6 m) apart.

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Provide an angle-socket thermometer in the riser, 5 ft (1.5 m) above the bottom, and as far from the heater
as possible. This thermometer should have at least a 6 in. (150 mm) stem, and be calibrated as low as 30F
(-1.1C).
A vertical radiator heater should be supplied from a reliable source of steam at 10 psi (69 kPa) (0.69 bar)
or above. Provide a steam gauge with siphon at an accessible location.
Operation and Control. Steam pressure may be regulated by throttling the steam control valve manually, or
by an automatic steam control valve. Automatic operation may be by an electrically-activated valve if the
electric supply is reliable, or a non-electric control valve.
Locate the temperature sensing element for an automatic control near the thermometer in the side of the
large riser.
Place an automatic steam control valve in a full-sized bypass around the manual steam valve, and install
globe valves in the bypass on either side.
Provide a drip trap and strainer ahead of the steam control valve.
Regulate the heat supply to maintain the temperature of the cold water between 42 and 50F (5.6 and 10C).
Size. The condensing chamber of a vertical radiator heater should have sufficient area to maintain the
temperature of the coldest water at not less than 42F (5.6C).
To determine the size of the condensing chamber needed:
1. Obtain the lowest one-day mean temperature (LODMT) for the locality from Figure 23 or Figure 24.
2. From Table 6 or 8, determine the total loss from the tank equipment in Btu/hr (watts).
3. From Table 12, determine the transfer in Btu/hr/ft2 (watts/m2) at the steam pressure available at the
heater.
4. Divide this figure into the total heat loss per hour to determine the number of square feet (m2) of heating
surface needed.
5. From Table 13, determine the diameter and length of pipe necessary to give the needed number of
square feet (m2).
Example: Determine the required size of the condensing chamber in a vertical radiator heater for an
uninsulated steel gravity tank of 75,000 gal (284 m3) capacity in Duluth, Minnesota. The tank is on a 100 ft
(30 m) tower and has a large steel-plate riser, 3 ft (0.9 m) in diameter. Steam pressure available at the heater
is 15 psi (103 kPa) (1.03 bar). The steam pipe is 1-1/2 in. (38 mm) in diameter.
From Figure 23, Duluth, Minnesota is within a -25F (-31.7C) zone, meaning the LODMT is between -25F
and -30F (-31.7C and -34.4C). Interpolating, the LODMT is estimated to be -28F (-33.3C). Interpolating
from Table 6, the heat loss is approximately 659,000 Btu/hr (193 kW) for the tank and 206,000 Btu/hr (60.4
kW) for the riser - a total loss of 865,000 Btu/hr (253.4 kW). From Table 12, the heat transfer at 15 psi (103
kPa) (1.03 bar) is 22,000 Btu/hr/ft2 (69.4 kW/m2). Therefore, 39.4 ft2 (3.65 m2) of surface are needed. The
condensing chamber should have a 3/4 in. (19 mm) clearance around the steam-supply pipe or be at least of
4 in. (100 mm) diameter, so that a 4 in. (100 mm) pipe is the smallest that could be used. Reading from
Table 13, it is found that a 4 in. (100 mm) pipe approximately 33 ft, 6 in. (10.2 m) long would give the required
number of square feet (m2) of heating surface.

3.8.4 Steam Coil Inside Tanks


A steam coil near the bottom inside a steel or wooden suction tank (Figures 6 and 11) is an acceptable method
of heating.
The coil should be of a type shown in Table 5 and at least 1-1/4 in. (32 mm) in diameter. Sturdily support
the coil at least 1 ft (0.3 m) above the tank bottom. Pitch to drain at least 1 in. in 10 ft (8.3 mm/m) (0.008%),
and make provision for expansion.
Connect the coil through a pipe to a reliable steam supplying the quantity of steam required, preferably at
10 psi (69 kPa) (0.69 bar) or above. Connect the condensate pipe to a steam trap that vents the air
automatically.

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Fig. 20. Vertical radiator heater for gravity tank with large steel-plate riser (steam supplied from plant boiler)

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Provide a globe valve and steam gauge with siphon in the steam-supply pipe as close to the coil as
practicable.
Provide a thermometer, graduated at least as low as 30F (-1.1C), whose sensitive element is located 5 ft
(1.5m) above the bottom of the suction tank. If a long distance thermometer is used, support the external
tubing at about 12 ft (3.5 m) intervals.
In the past, steam coils have been provided in some gravity tanks. This arrangement is not convenient to
determine water temperatures. Provide a long distance thermometer whose sensitive element is located 3 ft
(0.9 m) below the overflow pipe or the top of the riser from the plant service piping, and indicating dial is
located in a substantial weatherproof cabinet near grade or roof level.

Fig. 21. Arrangement for removing condensate from vertical radiator heaters when steam supply is from plant boilers

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Fig. 22. Vertical radiator heater for gravity tank with large steel-plate riser
(steam supplied from separate boiler at base of tank)

Operation and Control. Steam pressure may be regulated by throttling the steam control valve manually, or
by an automatic steam control valve. Automatic operation may be by an electrically activated valve if the
electric supply is reliable, or by a non-electric control valve.
Locate the temperature sensing element near the thermometer in the side of the tank.
Place an automatic steam control valve in a full-sized bypass around the manual steam valve, and provide
globe valves in the bypass on either side.

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Table 12-US. Approximate Heat Transfer from Coils and Pipe Radiators* (U.S. Customary Units).
(Coldest water just safely above freezing)
Steam Pressure, psi Heat Transfer (Steam to water), Btu/hr/ft2
10 19,500
15 22,000
20 24,500
30 29,500
40 34,500
50 39,000
*
Not to be used in calculating the area of coil needed in a circulating heater.

Table 12-SI. Approximate Heat Transfer from Coils and Pipe Radiators (SI Units).
(Coldest water just safely above freezing)
Steam Pressure, Heat Transfer (steam to water),
kPa bars kw/m2
69 0.69 62
103 1.03 69
138 1.38 77
207 2.07 93
276 2.76 109
345 3.45 123

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3-2
Page 64

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Fig. 23. Lowest one-day mean temperature (LODMT) zones (in F) and normal daily minimum 30F (-1.1C) temperature line for January, United States and Southern
Canada
3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets Page 65

Fig. 24. Lowest one-day mean temperature (LODMT) zones (in F) of 5F (-15C) and colder over a 30-year interval for
Europe

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Table 13-US. Heating Surface in Coils or Pipe Radiators, Ft2 (U.S. Customary Units)
Size of pipe,
Length, in.
ft 34 1 1-14 1-12 2 2-12 3 3-12 4 5 6
1 0.275 0.346 0.434 0.494 0.622 0.753 0.916 1.048 1.175 1.445 1.739
10 2.7 3.5 4.3 4.9 6.2 7.5 9.2 10.5 11.8 14.6 17.4
15 4.1 5.2 6.5 7.4 9.3 11.3 13.7 15.7 17.6 21.8 26.1
20 5.5 6.9 8.7 9.9 12.5 15.0 18.3 21.0 23.5 29.1 34.8
25 6.9 8.6 10.9 12.3 15.6 18.8 22.9 26.2 29.3 36.3 43.5
30 8.3 10.4 13.0 14.8 18.7 22.5 27.5 31.4 35.3 43.6 52.1
35 9.6 12.1 15.2 17.3 21.8 26.3 32.0 36.7 41.1 50.9 60.8
40 11.0 13.8 17.4 19.8 24.9 30.1 36.6 41.9 47.0 58.2 69.5
45 12.4 15.6 19.5 22.2 28.0 33.8 41.2 47.2 52.9 65.5 78.2
50 13.8 17.3 21.7 24.7 31.1 37.6 45.8 52.4 58.7 72.7 87.0
55 15.1 19.1 23.8 27.2 34.2 41.4 50.4 57.6 64.6 80.0 95.7
60 16.5 20.8 26.0 29.6 37.3 45.2 55.0 62.8 70.5 87.3 104.3
65 17.9 22.5 28.2 32.1 40.4 49.0 59.5 68.1 76.4 94.6
70 19.2 24.2 30.4 34.6 43.5 52.7 64.1 73.3 82.3 101.9
75 20.6 26.0 32.6 37.1 46.6 56.5 68.7 78.5 88.2
80 22.0 27.7 34.7 39.5 49.8 60.2 73.2 83.8 93.0
85 23.4 29.4 36.8 42.0 52.9 63.0 77.8 89.0 99.9
90 24.7 31.2 39.0 44.5 56.0 67.8 82.4 94.3 105.8
95 26.1 32.9 41.2 46.9 59.1 71.5 87.0 99.5
100 27.5 34.6 43.4 49.4 62.2 75.3 91.6 104.8

Table 13-SI. Heating Surface in Coils or Pipe Radiators, m2 (SI Units)


Size of Pipe,
Length, mm
m 19 25 32 38 50 63 75 89 100 125 150
0.1 0.083 0.105 0.132 0.151 0.19 0.23 0.28 0.31 0.35 0.44 0.53
3.0 0.25 0.33 0.40 0.46 0.58 0.70 0.85 0.98 1.10 1.36 1.62
4.6 0.38 0.48 0.60 0.69 0.86 1.05 1.27 1.46 1.64 2.03 2.42
6.1 0.51 0.64 0.81 0.92 1.16 1.39 1.70 1.95 2.18 2.70 3.23
7.6 0.64 0.80 1.01 1.14 1.45 1.75 2.13 2.43 2.72 3.37 4.04
9.1 0.77 0.97 1.21 1.37 1.74 2.09 2.55 2.92 3.28 4.05 4.84
10.7 0.89 1.12 1.41 1.61 2.03 2.44 2.97 3.41 3.82 4.73 5.65
12.2 1.02 1.28 1.62 1.84 2.31 2.80 3.40 3.89 4.37 5.41 6.46
13.7 1.15 1.45 1.81 2.06 2.60 3.14 3.83 4.39 4.91 6.09 7.27
15.2 1.28 1.61 2.02 2.29 2.89 3.49 4.25 4.87 5.45 6.75 8.08
16.8 1.40 1.77 2.21 2.53 3.18 3.85 4.68 5.35 6.00 7.43 8.89
18.3 1.53 1.93 2.42 2.75 3.47 4.20 5.11 5.83 6.55 8.11 9.69
19.8 1.66 2.09 2.62 2.98 3.75 4.55 5.53 6.33 7.10 8.79
21.3 1.78 2.25 2.82 3.21 4.04 4.90 5.96 6.81 7.65 9.47
22.8 1.91 2.42 3.03 3.45 4.33 5.25 6.38 7.29 8.19
24.4 2.04 2.57 3.22 3.67 4.63 5.59 6.80 7.79 8.64
25.9 2.17 2.73 3.42 3.90 4.91 5.85 7.23 8.27 9.28
27.4 2.29 2.90 3.62 4.13 5.20 6.30 7.66 8.76 9.83
29.0 2.42 3.06 3.83 4.36 5.49 6.64 8.08 9.24
30.4 2.55 3.21 4.03 4.59 5.78 7.00 8.51 9.74

Provide a drip trap and strainer ahead of the steam control valve.
To place the heating system in service, turn on the steam or start the fuel-fired heaters. If an inverted bucket
trap is not provided, blow all air from the steam pipe and trap by the air valve or vent in the steam trap when
first admitting steam.
Regulate the heat to maintain the temperature of the cold water between 42 and 50F (5.6 and 10C).

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Size. The surface area of the steam coils should be sufficient to maintain the temperature of the coldest
water at not less than 42F (5.6C).
To determine the area of steam coils needed:
1. Obtain the lowest one-day mean temperature (LODMT) for the locality from Figure 23 or Figure 24.
2. From Table 7 or 9, determine the total loss from the tank in Btu/hr (watts).
3. From Table 12, determine the transfer in Btu/hr/ft2 (W/m2) at the steam pressure available at the coil.
4. Divide this figure into the total heat loss per hour to determine the number of square feet (m2) of heating
surface needed.
5. From Table 13, determine the diameter and length of pipe needed to give the necessary number of
square feet (m2).
Example: Determine the required size of a steam coil for heating an uninsulated 100,000 gal (379 m3) steel
suction tank located at Chicago, Illinois. The steam pressure available at the coil is 20 psi (138 kPa) (1.38
bar).
Reading from Figure 23, Chicago is in the -10F (-23.3C) temperature zone, so the lowest one-day mean
temperature is between -10F and -15F (between -23.3C and -26.1C). Since it is near the cold (north) side
of the zone, take the lowest one-day mean temperature as -15F (-26.1C). Referring to Table 7 the heat
loss is about 556,000 Btu/hr (165 kW). From Table 12, the heat transfer at 20 psi (138 kPa) (1.38 bar) is 24,500
Btu/hr/ft2 (77 kW/m2). Therefore, 23 ft2 (2.14 m2) of surface are needed. From Table 13, it is found that any
of the following would be satisfactory:
53 ft of 1-14 in. pipe (16 m of 32 mm pipe)
47 ft of 1-12 in. pipe (14.5 m of 38 mm pipe)
37 ft of 2 in. pipe (11.25 m of 50 mm pipe)
31 ft of 2-12 in. pipe (9.5 m of 63 mm pipe)
25 ft of 3 in. pipe (7.75 m of 75 mm pipe)
Steam Coil Inside Frost-Proof Casings. A steam coil inside a frost-proof casing should extend the full height
of the casing and be of a type shown in Table 5, at least 1-1/2 in. (38 mm) in diameter. It should be sturdily
supported at intervals of not over 25 ft (7.6 m).
The steam pipe should be supplied through a trap and drip arrangement similar to that shown in Figure 21.
The surface area of the steam pipe should be sufficient to supply the heat lost through the frost-proof casing.
To determine the surface area of steam pipe needed:
1. Determine the lowest one-day mean temperature (LODMT) for the locality from Figure 23 or Figure
24.
2. Subtract this from 42F (5.6C).
3. Multiply the difference by the number of feet (m) of riser, the area of outside surface of frost-proof casing
in ft2/lin ft (m2/m) and the heat transmission in Btu/ft2/hr (W/m2) per degree difference in temperature
for the particular frost-proof casing provided (e.g., as given in Figures 12 and 13). Note: the heat
conductivity or transmission is the reciprocal of the R insulating value (i.e., 1/R).
4. Divide this total heat loss by 510, the heat loss from a bare steam pipe to air of 3 Btu/hr/ft2 of pipe
per F difference in temperature, times the difference in temperature between steam at atmospheric
pressure and the air in the casing at 42F - a difference of 170F. (In SI units: use 894, 9.46 W/hr/m2/C
times 94.5C.)
5. From Table 11, determine the diameter of pipe necessary to give the needed surface area when the
pipe extends the full height of the frost-proof casing.

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3.8.5 Air-bubbler Systems


Air-bubbler systems have been used successfully to keep marinas and reservoirs ice free all winter. These
systems work because water at 40F (4.4C) is denser than water at 32F (0C) and natural bodies of water
and earth reservoirs are in contact with surfaces below the frost line (unlike fire protection tanks). The bubbler
system forces the denser 40F (4.4C) water to rise. As it rises, it warms the upper layers of water which
will sink as they get more dense. However, marinas and reservoirs generally contain much more water than
fire protection water storage tanks and they extend below the frost line. Therefore, they have much more
available heat than do typical fire protection tanks.

3.8.6 Maintenance of Tank Heating Equipment


The heating system should be cleaned and overhauled as necessary after the heating season is over, with
major maintenance being performed during the summer. The system should again be serviced, and verified
to be working, in the fall before the heating season starts.
Every five years, disassemble radiator heaters and clean out all pipes. Replace badly corroded pipe with
copper water tubing, brass (85% copper), or cast iron pipe.
Every five years, clean the exterior of steam coils that are used to heat suction tanks. Steel or iron coils
should be taken apart and cleaned inside. Replace seriously corroded coils with copper tubing or brass (85%
copper) pipe.
Coil-type gas heaters (Figure 16) may require periodic removal of scale or lime deposits since some solids
exist in most water supply systems. As the water is heated, these solids tend to drop out. This condition
can normally be detected when a change of approximately 5F (2.8C) in the normal temperature rise through
the heater occurs. This scale is comparatively easy to remove if cleaned before the coils become clogged.
Special solvents are available for this purpose. Manufacturers of FM Approved coil-type water heaters have
a preventive maintenance system for deliming; their recommendations should be followed.

3.8.7 Tank-Heating Troubles


Table 14 lists tank heating troubles and their possible causes. Suggested remedies are covered below.
Additional causes are mechanical breakage and deterioration of insulation, which would be obvious on visual
inspection. If the water in a tank cannot be maintained at 42F (5.6C) or above, the causes of trouble that
can be checked easily should be checked first.
Troubles and Remedies:
1. Plant boiler fires are banked at night, during weekends or other plant shutdowns. Have sufficient steam
for tank heating during these periods, or provide a separate heater for the tank.
2. Steam supply is intermittent because the main boiler is controlled by room temperature. Arrange boiler
controls so that a thermostat on the tank heater in addition to the room thermostat controls steam supply, or
provide a separate heater for the tank.
3. Steam for the heater supplied from a small building distribution pipe. Connect the tank-heating system
directly to a header at the boiler.
4. Tank heater is too small. Replace with a proper size heater, or install an additional heater.
5. Plant boiler is too small for the combined steam demand of plant and tank. Provide additional boiler capacity
or, for circulating systems, provide a separate tank heater. For vertical radiator heaters or steam coils inside
tanks, provide a separate boiler for the tank.
6. Normal steam pressure is too low. For circulating systems, provide a separate tank heater; for vertical
radiator heaters or steam coils inside tanks, provide a separate boiler for the tank.
7. Steam-supply pipe is too small or obstructed by corrosion. Install pipe of proper size to deliver the quantity
of steam required or replace corroded pipe.
8. Steam or water circulating valve is closed or throttled, or valve disk disengaged from stem. Open or repair
valves.

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9. Vertical radiator heater is partially plugged with scale. Flush out the heater through a hose connection
on steam piping (Figure 20). If scale is not removed, disassemble the heater and clean or replace pipe. It
may be possible to increase steam pressure to obtain necessary heat so that repairs can be deferred until
warm weather. If repairs are deferred, keep careful check on water temperatures.
10. Hot water pipe is not sloped upward throughout. Remove pockets by pitching the pipe upward, or change
to a forced circulation system.
11. Hot water outlet is above the surface of water or too near the bottom of the tank. Locate hot water outlets
as specified under Water Circulating Pipes. Keep the tank filled. Check to see that hot water pipe is not
corroded through near the tank bottom.
12. Condensate collects in pocket(s) in steam supply pipe. Pitch the steam pipe to eliminate pocket(s) or
provide an independent trap for each low point.
13. Hot water pipe is connected to the low point of the tank heater shell or the steam supply pipe is connected
to the lower end of the coil. Reverse pipe connections: hot water pipe to the high point of the heater and
steam supply pipe to the top of the coil. For vertical radiators, connect steam supply pipe to the large outlet
of the radiator, that is, to inner pipe.
14. Hot water pipe is connected directly to tank riser. Arrange hot water circulating pipe in accordance with
Figures 6, 8, or 13 to 16.
15. Steam supply is connected directly to pipe riser. Provide a method of tank heating in accordance with
this data sheet.
16. Temperature sensing element of thermometer or thermostat is improperly located. Install in correct
location, depending upon method of heating tank.
17. Steam trap and/or heater are air bound. Provide steam traps that automatically remove air from piping.
18. Steam trap is too small or discharge is impeded. Have carrying capacity of traps and return system
checked by an expert, and install larger traps or return line if necessary.
19. Sediment or scale plugs heater, pipes, or accessories. Flush heater, pipes, or accessories through drains
provided.
20. Heater coil leaks. Replace or repair defective coil.
21. Steam or hot water pipe is exposed or improperly located. Provide sufficient insulation, particularly when
pipes pass through rooms that may be unheated. Repair frost-proof casings to cover all parts of pipe. Locate
pipes inside frost-proof casing.
22. Circulation starts in wrong direction. If no trouble has occurred previously and the hot-water valve is wide
open, the hot-water pipe is probably partially obstructed and should be cleaned out or replaced. For new
piping and with hot-water valve wide open, throttle the cold-water valve when heating starts, then open it wide.
It may be possible to correct this latter condition by incorporating a 3 ft (0.91 m) U in the cold-water return
line. The additional friction loss through the fittings of the U tends to make the flow start in the correct direction.
Convert a gravity circulating system to a forced system.

3.8.8 Restoring Protection After Freeze-Ups


It is dangerous to withdraw water from a tank if the surface is completely covered with a thick layer of ice.
Ice less than 2 in. (50 mm) thick will probably break as the water recedes and do no harm. Make sure that
this occurs before the level has fallen more than a few inches, or a vacuum may cause the tank to collapse.
If a large mass of ice falls suddenly after the water is withdrawn, it may seriously damage the tank.
If it becomes necessary to drain the tank but water cannot be withdrawn from the riser, the water must be
siphoned through the tank hatch using suction-type or other non-collapsible hose. Dispose of the water where
it will not cause damage by flooding or icing.
If it is necessary to thaw ice, steam or warm air is preferred. Do not allow direct heat from an open flame
or sparks from any source to come in contact with combustible construction, building contents, frost-proof
casing, or insulation. Replace broken fittings or pipe. If welding is used, the standard precautions should be
taken.

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If the ice in a tank having a circulating heating system is more than 2 in. (50 mm) thick, break it up from
the tank hatch, or at least make a large opening. Try to flush the heater through the drain pipe or from the
plug at the bottom of the heater. If neither of the circulation pipes is frozen solid, thoroughly flush both pipes
and heaters. Maintain good steam pressure on the heater continuously with a large difference in temperature
between the hot and cold water pipes.
Check the accuracy of the cold water thermometer; if the surface water temperature does not rise and ice
does not start melting within 12 hr, drain the tank by siphoning and inspect the heater pipe inside. It is likely
to be corroded through or broken off near the base, allowing local circulation without appreciably heating
the tank water. Replace the inside heater pipe if it is found defective. Make sure the heater is large enough
and that adequate steam pressure is constantly available.
If a tank has a frost-proof casing yet the circulation pipes are frozen solid and no breaks are evident, admit
steam or heated air into the base of the frost-proof casing. If fittings are broken or the pipe split, leakage
will occur when the ice melts. Advance precautions should be taken to prevent damage.
When a tank or large riser has a coil or radiator, first break up thick ice on the water surface. If the heater
cannot be made effective by maintaining steam pressure and liberating all air from the coil, and if water cannot
be drawn from the tank through the riser, siphon the water from the tank and determine whether the coil
and pipes need replacement.
Where a tank is without a heating system (other than external heat in a frost-proof casing for the riser),
manually break up ice more than 2 in. (50 mm) thick through the tank hatch. Thinner ice will settle and break
as the water level falls. If the riser is not frozen, drain about one fourth of the tank and refill with water at
a temperature not below 40F (4.4C). Do not overfill the tank unless it has an inside overflow pipe that
discharges the water harmlessly. Watch for additional freezing and provide heat if possible, or repeat the
emptying and refilling process as needed.
If an automatic gas- or oil-burning heater, circulating pump, or other complicated equipment cannot be made
to operate satisfactorily and keep the tank free of ice, call in an expert, preferably from the manufacturer.

4.0 REFERENCES

4.1 FM Global
Data Sheet 1-2, Earthquakes
Data Sheet 1-28, Wind Design
Data Sheet 1-54, Roof Loads for New Construction
Data Sheet 1-57, Plastics in Construction
Data Sheet 2-0, Installation Guidelines for Automatic Sprinklers
Data Sheet 2-8, Earthquake Protection for Water-Based Fire Protection Systems
Data Sheet 2-81, Fire Protection System Inspection, Testing and Maintenance and Other Fire Loss Prevention
Inspections
Data Sheet 3-4, Embankment-Supported Fabric Tanks
Data Sheet 3-6, Lined Earth Reservoirs for Fire Protection
Data Sheet 3-7, Fire Protection Pumps
Approval Guide, an online resource of FM Approvals
Approvals Standard Class Number 4020, Approval Standard for Steel Tanks for Fire Protection
Fire Pump Testing and Maintenance Checklist. FM Global publication P8217.
Pocket Guide to Inspecting, Testing and Maintaining Fire Protection Equipment. FM Global publication P0418

4.2 NFPA Standards


National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA 22, Standard for Water Tanks for Private Fire Protection,
2013.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance
of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems, 2014.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA 780, Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection
Systems, 2014.

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets Page 71

4.3 Others
American Concrete Institute (ACI). ACI 318, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete and
Commentary, 2014.
American Concrete Institute (ACI). ACI 350, Code Requirements for Environmental Engineering Concrete
Structures and Commentary, 2006.
American Concrete Institute (ACI). ACI 350.3, Seismic Design of Liquid-Containing Concrete Structures and
Commentary, 2006.
American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). Steel Plate Engineering Data, Volumes 1 and 2, 1992 and 2011.
American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). AISC 360, Specification for Structural Steel Buildings, 2010.
American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC). Steel Construction Manual, 14th Edition, 2011.
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)/Structural Engineering Institute (SEI). ASCE/SEI 7, Minimum
Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, 2005 and 2010.
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Rules for the
Construction of Pressure Vessels, Section VIII, Division 1, 2010.
American Water Works Association (AWWA). AWWA D100, Welded Carbon Steel Tanks for Water Storage,
2011.
American Water Works Association (AWWA). AWWA D102, Coating Steel Water-Storage Tanks, 2014.
American Water Works Association (AWWA). AWWA D103, Factory-Coated Bolted Carbon Steel Tanks for
Water Storage, 2009.
American Water Works Association (AWWA). AWWA D110, Wire- and Strand-Wound, Circular-Prestressed
Concrete Water Tanks, 2013.
American Water Works Association (AWWA). AWWA D115, Tendon-Prestressed Concrete Water Tanks, 2006.
American Water Works Association (AWWA). AWWA D120, Thermosetting Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic
Tanks, 2009.
American Water Works Association. Steel Water Storage Tanks, Design, Construction, Maintenance and
Repair. Edited by Stephen W. Meier. McGraw-Hill. 2010.
National Wood Tank Institute (NWTI). Bulletin S82, Specifications for Tanks and Pipes, 1982.
Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC)/NACE International (NACE). SSPC-SP5/NACE No. 1, White Metal
Blast Cleaning, 2006.
Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC)/NACE International (NACE). SSPC-SP6/NACE No. 3, Commercial
Blast Cleaning, 2006.
Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC)/NACE International (NACE). SSPC-SP7/NACE No. 4, Brush-Off Blast
Cleaning, 2006.
Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC)/NACE International (NACE). SSPC-SP10/NACE No. 2, Near White
Metal Blast Cleaning, 2006.
Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC). SSPC-SP2, Hand Tool Cleaning, 2004.
Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC). SSPC-SP3, Power Tool Cleaning, 2004.
Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC). SSPC-SP8, Pickling, 2004.
Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC). SSPC-SP11, Power Tool Cleaning to Bare Metal, 2012.
Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC). SSPC-SP15, Commercial Grade Power Tool Cleaning, 2012.

APPENDIX A GLOSSARY OF TERMS


Allowable stress design (ASD): A method of designing structural members such that computed stresses
produced by normal gravity design loads (e.g., the weight of the tank and roof, roof live or snow loads and
hydrostatic loads from the weight of contained water) do not exceed allowable stresses that are typically

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below the elastic limit of the material (e.g., in steel these are typically well below the yield stress, Fy). Although
it is becoming less common for buildings, for tanks normal allowable stresses are usually increased by
one-third when design includes extreme environmental loads such as earthquakes. (Also called working
stress design or elastic design).
Anchor Bolts: large bolts fastened to the shell of the tank and embedded up to several feet in a reinforced
concrete foundation. They are typically used to resist seismic forces. They also may be needed with unusually
tall, narrow tanks to resist wind forces.
Break Tank: a tank which is not of adequate capacity to supply the sprinkler and hose demand. It relies on
automatic filling while the fire pump draws it down, in order to provide a suitable capacity.
Elastic design: see Allowable Stress Design.
Exterior surfaces: Weather-exposed exterior accessible surfaces of the tank shell, roof, pedestal, legs,
accessories, and appurtenances.
FM Approved: References to FM Approved in this data sheet mean the product and services have satisfied
the criteria for FM Approval. Refer to the Approval Guide, an online resource of FM Approvals, for a complete
listing of products and services that are FM Approved.
Fire Pump Suction Tank: a water tank which is typically flat bottomed and has a water level at the same
approximate elevation as the sprinkler system and slightly above that of the fire pump. The tank supplies
the water volume and the pump provides the necessary pressure for the sprinkler system.
Freeboard: the distance from the inlet of the overflow or weir box to the top of the tank shell.
Foundation anchors: See anchor bolts.
Gravity Tank: a tank which supplies a volume of water for fire protection but has an elevation considerably
higher (typically on the order of 100 ft (30 m)) than that of the sprinkler system so as to provide the water to
it at the needed pressure.
Inaccessible areas: Areas of the finished structure that cannot be accessed to perform surface preparation
or coating application. For example, contact areas between roof plates and roof members, and the underside
of bottom plates of ground-supported tanks.
Interior dry surfaces: Interior accessible surfaces of the finished structure that are not exposed to the stored
water or its vapor nor to the weather. For example, the interior of the pedestal.
Interior wet surfaces: Interior accessible surfaces of the tank shell, roof, bottom, accessories and
appurtenances that are exposed to the stored water or its vapor.
Load and resistance factor design (LRFD): A method of designing structural members such that computed
stresses produced by service design loads multiplied by load factors do not exceed the theoretical nominal
member strength multiplied by a strength reduction (resistance) factor. (Also called strength design or
ultimate strength design).
Pressure tank: A relatively small (e.g., 20,000 gal [76 m3]) horizontal cylindrical steel tank having a water
capacity typically two-thirds of the total listed tank capacity with the remaining volume of the tank filled with
pressurized air supplied by a compressor. The tank supplies the water volume and the necessary pressure
for the sprinkler system.
Strength design: See load and resistance factor design.
Top capacity level (TCL): The high water level when the water surface is at the inlet of the overflow or at
the top of the weir box (if a weir box exists).
Tower: an elevated structure, made of steel, or concrete which supports a gravity tank.
Ultimate Strength Design: See load and resistance factor design.
Wind surface roughness exposure category: A classification (B, C, or D) reflecting the characteristics of ground
surface irregularities upwind of a site. As the number of obstructions increases, the effects of wind forces
are reduced due to friction. Exposure Category B has the largest number of obstructions (e.g., in an urban
area) and Exposure Category D has the least number of obstructions (e.g., adjacent to large areas of open
water or unbroken ice).

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Working stress design: See allowable stress design.

APPENDIX B DOCUMENT REVISION HISTORY


October 2015. This data sheet has been extensively revised. The following major changes were made:
A. Added pressure tanks to Section 1.0 and deleted or relocated (to Section 2.1) items unrelated to the scope
of this data sheet.
B. Throughout Section 2.0, rearranged recommendations to clarify the type of tank to which they apply. Also
relocated recommendations from Section 3.0 that were not previously included in Section 2.0, and updated
recommendations to meet current requirements in FM Approvals Standard 4020, Approval Standard for
Steel Tanks for Fire Protection, and other applicable standards. Significant new Section 2.0 recommendations
that were relocated from Section 3.0 include the following:
1. Tank construction Recommendations 2.2.1.17 and 2.2.1.18 (previously in Section 3.1.1)
2. Section 2.2.5 foundation and anchor information (previously in Section 3.5.1)
3. Section 2.2.6 insulation and heating recommendations (previously in Sections 3.7 and 3.8)
4. Inspection and maintenance Recommendations 2.3.6, 2.3.7, 2.3.8 and 2.3.10 (previously in Section
3.1.6)
5. Section 2.3.13 heating system inspection/maintenance recommendations (previously in Sections 3.8
and 3.8.6).
C. Created Section 2.1, Introduction, with text relocated from Section 1.0.
D. Added design and inspection information for pressure tanks to Section 2.2.1, Section 2.3, and Section
3.3.
E. Consolidated and revised design information for break tanks in Section 2.2.2; also revised break tank
inspection/maintenance requirements in Section 2.3, and information in Section 3.2.
F. Added information on design loads applicable to all tanks to Section 2.2.3 and Section 3.1.3 (the information
is based on and parallels that given in FM Approval Standard 4020).
G. Revised recommendations on the coating of new steel water tanks and accessories in Section 2.2.4,
Section 3.1.6, Table 2, and Table 3 to match current American Water Works Association (AWWA)
requirements.
H. Revised the presentation of United States and Europe lowest one-day mean temperature maps (new
Figures 23 and 24) and modified text in Section 3.7.2 and Section 3.8 based on the new presentation. The
data in the Figure 23 and Figure 24 temperature maps is unchanged but is now presented in terms of
temperature zones rather than isothermal lines. Also revised Section 3.8.1 regarding insulation of tanks.
I. Added design criteria for tanks not covered by FM Approval Standard 4020 to Recommendation 2.2.1.2
and Section 3.1.8, and general information on suction and gravity tanks to Section 3.1.1. Revised information
regarding FM Approval of tanks to Recommendation 2.2.1.4 and Section 3.1.2. Added information on suction
tank flexible liners to Section 3.1.7 and tank foundations to Section 3.5.1.
J. Clarified suction and break tank anti-vortex plate locations and configurations in Recommendation 2.2.1.14,
Recommendation 2.2.2.7, and Section 3.6.5.
K. Updated Section 4.0, References, and Appendix A, Glossary.
L. Added Appendix E as an aid for the preliminary design of cylindrical ground-supported steel suction tanks
prior to submittal of design documents to FM Approvals for review. Appendix E summarizes and clarifies
FM Approval Standard 4020 and AWWA design requirements for these tanks.
M. Tables 1, 2, and 3 and Figures 4 through 24 have been renumbered. Tables 2 and 3 and Figures 23 and
24 were also revised as noted above. Except for minor editorial changes, other renumbered tables and
figures have not been revised.
N. Added Tables 15 through 23, Figure 2, Figure 3, and Figures 25 through 31.

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In addition to the above, various minor changes have been made as indicated in red text throughout the
document.
May 2010. Replaced all references to Data Sheet 2-8N, Installation of Sprinkler Systems (NFPA), with
references to Data Sheet 2-0, Installation Guidelines for Automatic Sprinklers.
September 2009.Recommendation 2.2.8 and Section 3.6.5 were modified to be consistent with FM Global
Approval Standard for Ground Supported, Flat Bottom Steel Tanks for Fire Pump Suction (Class Number
4020/4021).
January 2008. Clarification was made to Section 3.6.5, Suction Tank Pipe Connection.
May 2006. Figure 4 was revised.
September 2004. References to FM Global earthquake zones have been modified for consistency with Data
Sheet 1-2, Earthquakes.
May 2001. Maps are redrawn for improved resolution and mapping accuracy.
January 2001. This revision of the document has been reorganized to provide a consistent format.
September 1998. Completely revised.
March 1994. Revised Document.

APPENDIX C NFPA STANDARD


Sprinkler tanks also are covered in NFPA 22, Standard for Water Tanks for Private Fire Protection. There
are no major conflicts.

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APPENDIX D JOB AIDS

Table 14. Causes of Tank-Heating Troubles


Tank-heating troubles
Cannot
Ice on No heat
surface Pipe orcirculation coldest Bad
of riser when water water Boiler Heater
Number Possible causes water frozen heat on to 42F hammer flooded plugs
Plant boiler fires banked at night,
1 during week ends, etc. x x x
2 Steam supply intermittent because x x x
boiler controlled by room temperature.
3 Steam for heater supplied from small x x x x
building distribution pipe.
Insufficient heat

4 Tank heater too small. x x x


5 Plant boiler too small for combined x x x x
steam demand of plant and tank.
6 Normal steam pressure too low. x x x x
7 Steam supply pipe too small or x x x x
obstructed by corrosion.
8 Steam or water circulating valve x x x x
closed or throttled or valve disk
disengaged from stem.
9 Vertical radiator heater partially x x
plugged with scale.
10 Hot-water pipe not sloped upward x x x x
throughout.
11 Hot-water outlet above surface of x x x x
water or too near bottom of tank.
12 Condensate collects in pocket in steam- x x x x x
supply pipe.
Improper installation

13 Hot-water pipe connected to low point x x x x


of tank heater shell or steam-supply
pipe connected to lower end of coil.
14 Hot-water pipe connected directly to x x
tank riser.
15 Steam-supply pipe connected directly x
to pipe riser.
16 Sensitive element of thermometer or x x
thermostat improperly located.
17 Air binding of steam trap and/or x x x
heater.
18 Steam trap too small or discharge x x x
impeded.
19 Sediment or scale plugs heater, pipes, x x x x x
Miscellaneous

or accessories.
20 Leak in heater coil. x x
21 Steam or hot-water pipe exposed or x x x x
improperly located.
22 Circulation starts in wrong direction. x

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APPENDIX E DESIGN OF NEW CYLINDRICAL, GROUND-SUPPORTED, STEEL SUCTION TANKS


New ground-supported, flat-bottom, cylindrical steel (bolted or welded) suction tanks are to be designed per
the current version of FM Approvals Standard 4020, Approval Standard for Steel Tanks for Fire Protection,
as well as other standards referenced by that document. Design documents (drawings, calculations, etc.)
should then be submitted to FM Approvals for review and approval.
The use of this appendix is not required, but is provided as an aid for initial design or review of new tanks.
Major (but not all-inclusive) FM Approvals Standard 4020 (May 2011) provisions for bolted or welded
ground-supported, flat-bottom, cylindrical steel suction tanks are included. The final determination of whether
a tank will be FM Approved rests with FM Approvals and will be based on the complete requirements in the
latest revision of FM Approvals Standard 4020.
It is not possible to make a blanket determination as to whether a suction tank designed using other standards
will meet all FM Approvals Standard 4020 provisions. It has been noted during past reviews that there can
be significant differences. Thinner shell plates resulting from higher allowable tension and compression
stresses in some international standards by comparison to those allowed by FM Approvals Standard 4020,
and lack of adequate earthquake uplift anchorage details are two common examples.
Except for design of anchor chairs in Section E.7.2.3, the nomenclature used in Appendix E is given in Table
15. This nomenclature largely corresponds to that in FM Approvals Standard 4020 but there are a few
differences. Where variables not in Table 15 are used, or when further clarification is needed, it is provided
in the text.

Table 15. Appendix E Nomenclature1


Variable Definition
Ag Gross area of a bolt in the unthreaded body, in.2 (mm2)
Ar Root area of a bolt based on the minimum diameter at roots of threads, in.2 (mm2)
AS Tensile stress area of a bolt at the threaded portion, in.2 (mm2)
Cc Coefficient used to determine the convective period, sec/ft
Ci Coefficient used to determine the impulsive period
Cv Coefficient used to determine the vertical period
D Tank diameter, ft (m)
Fa Allowable axial compression stress (Allowable Stress Design), including the one-third increase if
appropriate, for the steel member, plate, etc. under consideration, psi (MPa)
Ft Allowable tension stress (Allowable Stress Design), including the one-third increase if appropriate,
for the steel member, plate, etc. under consideration, psi (MPa)
Ftn Allowable tension stress (Allowable Stress Design), including the one-third increase if appropriate,
for Shell Ring n, psi (MPa)
Fu Published minimum ultimate tensile stress of the steel under consideration, psi (MPa)
Fy Published minimum yield stress of the steel under consideration, psi (MPa)
G Specific gravity of the contained fluid (1.0 for water)
H Maximum height of liquid in the tank from the base to the TCL, ft (m)
Hn Water height measured down from the TCL to the bottom of Shell Ring n, ft (m)
Hsh Total height of the tank shell, ft (m)
I Importance factor
J Earthquake uplift factor at the base of the tank used to determine whether there is uplift during a
seismic event
Jn The value of J determined at the bottom of Shell Ring n that is a height z above the tank base
K Effective length factor (usually between 0.5 and 2.0) for a column or other compression member
L Laterally unsupported length of a column or other compression member, in. (mm)
Lu Maximum unbraced length of a beam compression flange as defined by AISC
MEQ Earthquake overturning moment at the tank base, ft-lb (N-m)
MEQn Earthquake overturning moment at the bottom of Shell Ring n that is a height of z above the
tank base, ft-lb (N-m)
MRES Moment, from tank dead load, resisting overturning at the base of the tank, ft-lb (N-m)
Mw Wind overturning moment at the tank base, ft-lb (N-m)
Mwn Wind overturning moment at the bottom of Shell Ring n that is a height of z above the tank
base, ft-lb (N-m)

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Table 15. Appendix E Nomenclature1 (contd)


Variable Definition
N Number of foundation bolts resisting shear or tension
Paw Average wind pressure acting over hmax (usually equals Pw), psf (kPa)
Pw Uniform horizontal design wind pressure, psf (kPa)
R Tank radius, units vary - see text, ft (m) or in. (mm)
Rc Earthquake force reduction factor for convective action (Allowable Stress Design)
Ri Earthquake force reduction factor for impulsive (or vertical) action (Allowable Stress Design)
S Minimum required section modulus of a wind girder, in.3 (mm3)
SAc Earthquake horizontal spectral acceleration for the convective mode, expressed as a fraction of
gravitational acceleration (g)
SAi Earthquake horizontal spectral acceleration for the impulsive mode, expressed as a fraction of
gravitational acceleration (g)
SAv Earthquake spectral acceleration for the vertical mode, expressed as a fraction of gravitational
acceleration (g)
SD1 Soil-adjusted, 5% damped, design earthquake spectral response acceleration at a period of 1
second, expressed as a fraction of gravitational acceleration (g)
SDS Soil-adjusted, 5% damped, design earthquake spectral response acceleration at a short (0.2-
second) period, expressed as a fraction of gravitational acceleration (g)
Ta Allowable tension force per foundation anchor (Allowable Stress Design) including the one-third
increase if appropriate, lb (N)
Tc Period of vibration for the convective earthquake mode, seconds
TCL Top capacity level - the water level defined by the lip of the overflow
Ti Period of vibration for the impulsive earthquake mode, seconds
Tr Required design tension force per foundation anchor necessary to resist overturning from wind or
earthquake forces, lb (N)
Ts Control period (= SD1/SDS) of the design earthquake response spectra, seconds
Tv Period of vibration for the vertical earthquake mode, seconds
Va Allowable shear force per foundation anchor (Allowable Stress Design) including the one-third
increase if appropriate, lb (N)
VEQ Design earthquake lateral force at the bottom of the tank (base shear), lb (N)
Vr Required design shear force per foundation anchor necessary to resist shear forces from wind or
earthquake, lb (N)
VRES Frictional force, between the tank bottom plate and its support, resisting the lateral (horizontal) force
from wind or earthquake loads, lb (N)
Vw Total wind lateral force, lb (N)
WD Total dead (no roof live [or snow] load) weight (mass) at the bottom of the tank from the tank shell
plus that portion of the tank roof supported by the shell, lb (kg)
WDn Same as WD except calculated at the bottom of Shell Ring n that is a height of z above the tank
base, lb (kg)
d Diameter of a bolt, in. (mm)
da Actual (provided) freeboard, ft (m)
dhn Diameter of bolts in the horizontal lap splice at the bottom of Shell Ring n, in. (mm)
dsl Calculated required sloshing wave height, ft (m)
dvn Diameter of bolts in the vertical lap splices of Shell Ring n, in. (mm)
dvn[hole] Bolt hole diameter in the Shell Ring n vertical lap splices, in. (mm) - usually equals dvn + 1/16 in.
(1.6 mm)
h A height as specified in the text - units vary, ft (m) or in. (mm)
hc Height, above the tank base, of the convective liquid mass, ft (m)
hc Height of the convective liquid mass for obtaining the convective moment below the base plate for
use in design of mat and pile foundations, ft (m)
hi Height, above the tank base, of the impulsive liquid mass, ft (m)
hi Height of the impulsive liquid mass for obtaining the impulsive moment below the base plate for use
in design of mat and pile foundations, ft (m)

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Table 15. Appendix E Nomenclature1 (contd)


Variable Definition
hmax Maximum vertical distance below a wind girder at which another intermediate wind girder must be
placed, ft (m)
hr Height, above the tank base, to the center of gravity of the tank roof, ft (m)
hsh Height, above the tank base, to the center of gravity of the tank shell, ft (m)
ke Factor representing the portion of provided shear or overturning foundation anchors that are
effective (= 0.5 for tanks with no bottom plate and 1.0 for tanks having a bottom plate)
mb Dead weight (mass) of the tank bottom plate, lb (kg)
mc Weight (mass) of the convective liquid for earthquake design assuming sufficient freeboard, lb (kg)
mc-IF Modified weight (mass) of the convective liquid for earthquake design when freeboard is insufficient,
lb (kg)
mi Weight (mass) of the impulsive liquid for earthquake design assuming sufficient freeboard, lb (kg)
mi-IF Modified weight (mass) of the impulsive liquid for earthquake design when freeboard is insufficient,
lb (kg)
ml Total weight (mass) of the liquid contained in the tank to the TCL, lb (kg)
mr Total weight (mass) of the tank roof (dead load plus the specified percentage of the roof live [or
snow] load), lb (kg)
msh Total dead weight (mass) of the tank shell, lb (kg)
r Least radius of gyration of a column or other compression member, in. (mm)
s Spacing between bolts, units vary - see text, ft (m) or in. (mm)
shn Horizontal spacing between bolts in the same row at the horizontal lap splice at the bottom of Shell
Ring n, in. (mm)
svn Vertical spacing between bolts in the same row at vertical lap splices in Shell Ring n, in. (mm)
t Thickness of a plate or part at a specified location, in. (mm)
tav Average tank wall thickness over a specified distance, in. (mm)
tb Thickness of the tank bottom plate, in. (mm)
tn Thickness of Shell Ring n, in. (mm)
ts Thickness of the shell ring at the base of the tank, in. (mm)
w Width of a specified part, in. (mm)
wL Dead weight of water adjacent to the tank shell per length of circumference that is effective for
overturning resistance, lb/ft (N/m)
wt Dead weight (no roof live [or snow] load) at the bottom of the tank from the tank shell and that
portion of the roof supported by the tank shell per length of circumference, lb/ft (N/m)
z Height, above the tank base, where stress, etc. is being evaluated (typically corresponds to the
bottom of Shell Ring n), ft (m)
c Factor for reducing the convective moment with height z from the tank base
i Factor for reducing the impulsive moment with height z from the tank base
c Longitudinal shell compression stress in the ring directly above the point being checked, psi (MPa)
1
For design of anchor chairs, a different nomenclature is used (see Section E.7.2.3).

E.1 Minimum Suction Tank Accessories and Configuration


The minimum provisions in this section should be satisfied and indicated on the tank drawings.

E.1.1 Suction Tank Accessories and Fittings


Provide the following minimum accessories and fittings, typically fabricated from galvanized steel (see Figure
25):
A shell manhole in the first ring of the tank at least 24 in. (600 mm) diameter if circular or 18 in. x 22
in. (450 mm x 550 mm) if elliptical.
A roof vent covered with corrosion-resistant metal screening, located near the center of the roof and having
a screened area at least 1-1/2 times the cross-sectional area of either the fill line or suction line (whichever
is larger). This item may be combined with the roof manway. The overflow pipe may not be considered
to be a vent.
A roof manway (minimum opening diameter or side dimension of 20 in. [500 mm]) near the center of the
roof with a removable cover over a 4 in. (100 mm) curb. This item may be combined with the roof vent.

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A lockable hinged roof hatch (minimum opening diameter of 24 in. [600 mm] or dimensions of 15 in. x
24 in. [380 mm x 600 mm]) located near the outside ladder. To prevent water infiltration the cover should
overlap a 4 in. (100 mm) curb or a gasket should be provided.
A minimum 2 in. (50 mm) diameter fill line capable of filling the tank in less than 8 hours. Locate the fill
line in a different quadrant (at least 90 away) or, alternatively, at least 15 ft (4.6 m) horizontally from nearest
point of the suction line intake anti-vortex plate.
A suction line with a steel anti-vortex plate (minimum 0.25 in. [6 mm] thick having a diameter or each
plan dimension at least twice the diameter of the suction line) securely attached to the pipe or the tank
bottom (see Section 3.6.5 for more information).
An overflow pipe covered with corrosion-resistant metal screening and at least one pipe size larger than
the fill line, having a capacity at least equal to the fill line pumping rate. Provide a weir box or other
appropriate intake at the inlet.
An exterior water level gauge or a monitored high water/low water electric alarm. Locate the high water
alarm not more than 2 in. [50 mm] above the overflow inlet and the low water alarm not more than 12
in. (300 mm) below the overflow inlet.
An exterior ladder, beginning at 8 ft (2.4 m) above the tank bottom, located to provide access to the roof
hatch.
Corrosion-resistant metal screening should have either 3/8 in. (10 mm) or in. (12 mm) openings. Very
fine mesh, such as an insect screen, should not be used since it is susceptible to blockages that reduce the
available vent area. Also note that internal ladders and internal overflow piping are discouraged, and are
not allowed in cold weather locations (generally where the lowest one-day mean temperature is 5F [-15C]
or less).

I
D H Common tank components:
B C F 1. Roof plate
2
2. Roof rafter
G 3. Roof support column
1
4. Shell plates
5. Bottom plate
E 6. Wind stiffener(s) (if required)
7. Uplift anchors (if required)

Required tank accessories:


A. Shell manhole
6 B. Roof vent
C. Roof manway
D. Roof hatch
E. Fill line
F. Suction line with
anti-vortex plate
G. Overflow
H. Water level gauge or
5
7 high-low water level alarm
A 3 4 I. Exterior ladder

Fig. 25. Steel suction tank components and accessories

E.1.2 Minimum Steel Thicknesses


Provide the following minimum steel thicknesses unless a larger thickness is required based on calculated
stresses:
A. Shell plates and bottom plates: 0.25 in. (6.4 mm) for welded tanks, 0.094 in. (2.4 mm) for bolted tanks
B. Flat roof steel plates for roof slopes less than 20 degrees (1:2.75): 0.094 in. (2.4 mm); corrugated roof
sheets placed perpendicular to roof beams can be thinner

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C. Roof support members: 3/16 in. (5 mm)

E.1.3 Reinforcement of Openings


Reinforce openings in the tank shell that are greater than 4 in. (100 mm) in diameter and subject to hydrostatic
pressure in accordance with AWWA D100 or AWWA D103.

E.1.4 Arrangement of Roof Members


Arrange roof members in accordance with the following:
A. Provide minimum freeboard of 2 in. (50 mm) such that roof members and support clips are above the
overflow water level and not in contact with the water. For tanks in FM Global 50-year through 500-year
earthquake zones, follow freeboard requirements in Section E.6.1.
B. When roof members are arranged in a radial pattern (supported by interior columns and the tank shell),
limit spacing between the members at the tank shell to 6 ft 3 in. (1.9 m).

E.2 Allowable Steel Stresses

E.2.1 General
Base all design stress limits on Allowable Stress Design (ASD) using the published minimum yield stress
(Fy) and minimum ultimate tensile stress (Fu) of the steel; do not increase design stresses based on higher
Fy or Fu determined from mill test reports.

E.2.2 Roof Members and Supporting Column Stress Limits


Design steel roof members and roof support columns per the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC)
Steel Construction Manual and AISC 360 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings, using Allowable Stress
Design (ASD), or equivalent international codes, with the following additions.
For roof members, limit allowable ASD bending stresses from local codes to the following:
A. The larger of 15,000 psi (103.4 MPa) or 0.4Fy when the compression (top) flange of a simply-supported
rafter is not laterally supported.
B. The larger of 15,000 psi (103.4 MPa) or 0.6Fy when the compression (top) flange of a simply-supported
rafter is laterally supported at intervals not exceeding Lu as defined by AISC; do not consider friction
between roof plates and the top flange of rafters as lateral support unless otherwise allowed by FM
Approvals.
For roof support columns, limit the column slenderness ratio (KL/r) to 175 and limit the allowable ASD axial
compression stress (Fa) from local codes to that found in Table 16.

E.2.3 Steel Shell Plate Stress Limits


E.2.3.1 The published minimum yield stress (Fy) of steel used for shell plates should not be less than 27,000
psi (186.2 MPa) nor more than 70,000 psi (483 MPa) unless otherwise allowed by FM Approvals.
E.2.3.2 The tension stress in steel shell plates resulting from hydrostatic and hydrodynamic pressure (causing
hoop tension across vertical joints) or overturning from wind or earthquake (causing tension across horizontal
joints) should not exceed the ASD allowable tension stress (Ft) given in Table 17 unless otherwise allowed
by FM Approvals.
In welded tanks, the allowable stress in tension is, for all Class 1 and Class 2 materials, based on 15,000
psi (103.4 MPa) multiplied by a weld joint efficiency reduction factor found in Table 15 of AWWA D100-11. Do
not use a weld joint efficiency reduction factor greater than 0.85 unless allowed by FM Approvals. For bolted
tanks, although the actual values should be used, a reasonable first estimate of the bolt diameter to spacing
ratio (d/s in Table 17) is about 0.2 in vertical splices and about 0.1 in horizontal splices (see Figure 26).
E.2.3.3 The vertical axial compression stress in steel shell plates resulting from gravity loads (i.e., dead load
and roof live or snow load), from appropriate combinations of gravity loads with wind overturning, or from

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Bolted horizontal shell


plate splice for Ring n-1

sv(n-1) sh(n-1) Ring n-1

Bolted vertical
shell plate splice
svn (1 row of bolts)
for Ring n-1

Ring n

Bolted vertical Bolted horizontal


shell plate splice shell plate splice
(2 rows of bolts) for Ring n
for Ring n (bolt diameter = dhn)
(bolt diameter = dvn)
shn

Ring n+1
sv(n+1)

Shell plate lap splice details


(elevation view from outside of the tank)

Fig. 26. Shell plate lap splice details (elevation view from outside the tank)

appropriate combinations of gravity loads with overturning and vertical accelerations from earthquake should
not exceed the ASD allowable axial compression stress (Fa) given in Table 18 unless otherwise allowed by
FM Approvals.
Increasing allowable compression stresses to account for the stabilizing effect of hydrostatic forces on shell
buckling is allowed by some codes, but is not allowed in most cases by FM Approvals Standard 4020 (which
bases allowable stresses on AWWA D100 or AWWA D103). Hydrostatic stabilization is therefore not included
in Table 18.
It is not uncommon, particularly for tanks in earthquake zones, that steel shell plate thicknesses determined
using other standards will need to be increased such that vertical compression stresses are below those
allowed by FM Approvals Standard 4020.

E.2.4 Uplift Anchorage Stress Limits


Other design requirements related to wind or earthquake uplift anchorage are found in Recommendations
2.2.5.2.6 and 2.2.5.2.7.

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E.2.4.1 Embedded Steel Uplift Anchor Bolt Stress Limits


Cast-in-place carbon steel anchors having a bolt head or nut, with or without an additional plate, at their
embedded end are the preferred style of uplift anchorage (see Figure 27 and Figure 30), particularly when
uplift tension results from earthquake forces. Hooks at the embedded end are not allowed for earthquake uplift
anchors.
The maximum allowable tension stress (which already includes the 1/3 seismic or wind increase) is 0.33Fu
but not more than 0.6Fy on the minimum bolt tensile stress area (As) at threads, nor, for upset bolts, on the
minimum gross bolt area (Ag). Upset bolts have an increased diameter at the threaded portion such that the
root diameter at threads is larger than the diameter of the unthreaded portion. For mild steel having Fy =
36,000 psi (248.2 MPa) and Fu = 58,000 psi (400 MPa), the wind or earthquake stress limit (including the
1/3 seismic or wind increase) can be taken as 20,000 psi (137.9 MPa). Bolt tensile stress areas, which are
tabulated in various publications, are typically about 4% to 8% larger than the area determined using the
minimum root diameter at threads (Ar).

E.2.4.2 Post-Installed Concrete Uplift Anchor Stress Limits


Post-installed concrete anchors (e.g., expansion anchors) are acceptable to resist wind uplift forces, but are
not recommended for use as earthquake uplift anchorage. If used to resist earthquake forces they must be
qualified for use in seismic zones, be installed with rigorous quality control (see Data Sheet 1-2), and be
acceptable to FM Approvals.
The failure capacity in tension of post-installed concrete anchors must be at least four times the calculated
ASD tension force in the anchor.

E.2.4.3 Uplift Anchor Strap Stress Limits


Steel anchor straps that are embedded in the concrete foundation and welded to the tank shell can be used
to resist wind uplift forces, but are not allowed for use as earthquake uplift anchorage. The tension stress
on the minimum cross-sectional area of the strap should not exceed the values given for bolts in Section
E.2.4.1.

E.2.4.4 Steel Uplift Anchor Chair Stress Limits


Where uplift results from earthquake forces, use a steel anchor chair (see Figure 27, Figure 30, Figure 31
and Section E.7.2.3) to transfer the earthquake uplift forces from the tank to the foundation bolts. Anchor
chairs are preferred, but not required, for transferring wind uplift forces.
Limit steel stresses in bending for the top plate of uplift anchor chairs and for the shell plate near the chairs
to 25,000 psi (172.4 MPa) as suggested in the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) publication T-192
Steel Plate Engineering Data: Volume 2 - Useful Information on the Design of Plate Structures, Part VII Anchor
olt Chairs. This value already includes the 1/3 wind or seismic increase.

Fig. 27. Tank uplift anchorage chair

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Table 16. ASD Allowable Axial Compression Stress (Fa) in Steel Columns1
Allowable Axial Compression Stress2 (Fa)
Where Where
Fy = 36,000 psi (248 MPa) Fy = 50,000 psi (345 MPa)
KL/r psi Mpa psi Mpa
5 21,392 147.50 29,656 204.47
10 21,155 145.86 29,256 201.71
15 20,891 144.04 28,803 198.59
20 20,599 142.03 28,300 195.12
25 20,283 139.84 27,749 191.32
30 19,941 137.49 27,153 187.21
35 19,577 134.98 26,513 182.80
40 19,190 132.31 25,832 178.11
45 18,781 129.49 25,111 173.13
50 18,351 126.52 24,351 167.89
55 17,900 123.42 23,553 162.39
60 17,430 120.17 22,717 156.63
65 16,940 116.80 21,846 150.62
70 16,431 113.29 20,938 144.36
75 15,902 109.64 19,993 137.85
80 15,355 105.87 19,012 131.09
85 14,789 101.97 17,994 124.07
90 14,205 97.94 16,938 116.78
95 13,601 93.78 15,842 109.23
100 12,978 89.48 14,706 101.40
105 12,335 85.05 13,527 93.27
110 11,672 80.48 12,341 85.09
115 10,988 75.76 11,292 77.85
120 10,282 70.90 10,370 71.50
125 9,554 65.88 9,557 65.90
130 8,836 60.92 8,836 60.92
135 8,194 56.49 8,194 56.49
140 7,619 52.53 7,619 52.53
145 7,103 48.97 7,103 48.97
150 6,637 45.76 6,637 45.76
155 6,216 42.86 6,216 42.86
160 5,833 40.22 5,833 40.22
165 5,485 37.82 5,485 37.82
170 5,167 35.63 5,167 35.63
175 4,876 33.62 4,876 33.62
1
This table gives ASD allowable axial compression stresses (Fa) for roof support columns based on the column slenderness ratio, KL/r,
where L (the laterally unsupported column length) and r (the least radius of gyration of the column) are both in the same units. Take the
effective length factor K as 1.0 unless analysis shows a different value is permitted or required.
2
The allowable axial compression stresses in the table can be multiplied by 1.333 for those load cases that include forces from wind or
earthquake.

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Table 17. ASD Allowable Tension Stress (Ft) in Steel Shell Plates1
Tank
Type Splice Configuration Allowable Tension Stress2 (Ft) Comments
Welded Complete penetration grooved 12,750 psi Allowable Ft applies to all Class 1
butt weld (87.9 MPa) (Fy = 27,000 - 34,000 psi
Lap joint with full-thickness 11,250 psi [186.2 - 234.4 MPa]) and Class 2
continuous fillet welds on each (77.6 MPa) (Fy > 34,000 psi [> 234.4 MPa])
edge of the joint steels.
Bolted One row of bolts (0.06 + 1.8[d/s])Fy The bolt diameter (d, in. or mm)
but 0.4Fu and spacing (s, in. or mm) are dvn
Two rows of bolts (0.33 + 0.9[d/s])Fy and svn for hoop tension across
but 0.4Fu vertical joints in Shell Ring n and
Three rows of bolts (0.42 + 0.6[d/s])Fy dhn and shn for overturning tension
but 0.4Fu across horizontal joints at the
bottom of Shell Ring n (see
Figure 26).
1
This table is applicable to steel cylindrical suction tanks and is based on AWWA D100 (welded tanks) and AWWA D103 (bolted tanks)
using conditions that commonly occur in suction tanks. See the AWWA documents for more information.
2
The ASD allowable tension stresses in the table can be multiplied by 1.333 when the load case includes forces from wind or earthquake.

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Table 18-US. ASD Allowable Vertical Axial Compression Stress (Fa) in Steel Shell Plates1 (U.S. Customary Units)
Allowable Axial Compression Stress2, Allowable Axial Compression Stress2,
Fa, (psi) Fa, (psi)
Bolted Tank Welded Tank Bolted Tank Welded Tank
Class 1 Class 2 Class 1 Class 2
t/R Steel3 Steel3 t/R Steel3 Steel3
0.0001 199 175 175 0.0033 5,874 8,210 8,919
0.0002 397 351 351 0.0034 6,029 8,284 9,389
0.0003 594 527 527 0.0035 6,183 8,358 9,877
0.0004 789 706 706 0.0036 6,336 8,432 10,115
0.0005 983 886 886 0.0037 6,487 8,506 10,203
0.0006 1,176 1,069 1,069 0.0038 6,637 8,579 10,292
0.0007 1,367 1,255 1,255 0.0039 6,786 8,653 10,380
0.0008 1,557 1,445 1,445 0.0040 to Bolted Tank:
0.0009 1,746 1,639 1,639 0.0123 2.0 (10)6 ([t/R] - 33.33 [t/R]2)
0.0010 1,933 1,838 1,838
0.0011 2,119 2,041 2,041 Welded Tank, Class 1 Steel3:
5,775 + 738 (10)3 (t/R)
0.0012 2,304 2,251 2,251
0.0013 2,487 2,467 2,467 Welded Tank, Class 2 Steel3:
0.0014 2,669 2,690 2,690 6,925 + 886 (10)3 (t/R)
0.0015 2,850 2,920 2,920
0.0016 3,029 3,158 3,158
0.0017 3,207 3,405 3,405
0.0018 3,384 3,660 3,660
0.0019 3,559 3,925 3,925
0.0020 3,733 4,200 4,200 0.0124 14,549 14,926 17,911
0.0021 3,906 4,485 4,485 0.0125 14,583 15,000 18,000
0.0022 4,077 4,782 4,782 0.0126 14,616
0.0023 4,247 5,090 5,090 0.0127 14,647
0.0024 4,416 5,410 5,410 0.0128 14,677
0.0025 4,583 5,742 5,742 0.0129 14,706
0.0026 4,749 6,088 6,088 0.0130 14,733
0.0027 4,914 6,447 6,447 0.0131 14,759
0.0028 5,077 6,821 6,821 0.0132 14,784
0.0029 5,239 7,209 7,209 0.0133 14,807
0.0030 5,400 7,612 7,612 0.0134 14,829
0.0031 5,559 8,032 8,032 0.0135 14,850
0.0032 5,717 8,137 8,467 >0.0135 15,000 15,000 18,000
1
ASD allowable axial compression stresses (Fa) in the vertical direction for cylindrical steel tank shell plates are based on AWWA D100
(welded tanks) and AWWA D103 (bolted tanks) and the tank t/R (shell thickness to tank radius) ratio, where t and R are both in the same
units. Equations are given for most t/R ratios above 0.004 since these t/R ratios are less common.
2
The allowable axial compression stresses in the table can be multiplied by 1.333 when the load case includes forces from wind or
earthquake.
3
The published minimum yield stress (Fy) for Class 1 steel is 27,000-34,000 psi and for Class 2 is greater than 34,000 psi.

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Table 18-SI. ASD Allowable Vertical Axial Compression Stress (Fa) in Steel Shell Plates1 (SI Units)
Allowable Axial Compression Stress2, Allowable Axial Compression Stress2,
Fa, (MPa) Fa, (MPa)
Bolted Tank Welded Tank Bolted Tank Welded Tank
Class 1 Class 2 Class 1 Class 2
t/R Steel3 Steel3 t/R Steel3 Steel3
0.0001 1.37 1.21 1.21 0.0033 40.50 56.61 61.50
0.0002 2.74 2.42 2.42 0.0034 41.57 57.12 64.74
0.0003 4.10 3.64 3.64 0.0035 42.63 57.63 68.10
0.0004 5.44 4.86 4.86 0.0036 43.69 58.14 69.74
0.0005 6.78 6.11 6.11 0.0037 44.73 58.64 70.35
0.0006 8.11 7.37 7.37 0.0038 45.76 59.15 70.96
0.0007 9.43 8.65 8.65 0.0039 46.79 59.66 71.57
0.0008 10.74 9.96 9.96 0.0040 to Bolted Tank:
0.0009 12.04 11.30 11.30 0.0123 13790 ([t/R] - 33.33 [t/R]2)
0.0010 13.33 12.67 12.67
0.0011 14.61 14.08 14.08 Welded Tank, Class 1 Steel3:
39.82 + 5088 (t/R)
0.0012 15.89 15.52 15.52
0.0013 17.15 17.01 17.01 Welded Tank, Class 2 Steel3:
0.0014 18.40 18.55 18.55 47.75 + 6109 (t/R)
0.0015 19.65 20.13 20.13
0.0016 20.89 21.78 21.78
0.0017 22.11 23.48 23.48
0.0018 23.33 25.24 25.24
0.0019 24.54 27.06 27.06
0.0020 25.74 28.96 28.96 0.0124 100.31 102.91 123.50
0.0021 26.93 30.93 30.93 0.0125 100.55 103.42 124.11
0.0022 28.11 32.97 32.97 0.0126 100.77
0.0023 29.28 35.09 35.09 0.0127 100.99
0.0024 30.45 37.30 37.30 0.0128 101.20
0.0025 31.60 39.59 39.59 0.0129 101.39
0.0026 32.75 41.97 41.97 0.0130 101.58
0.0027 33.88 44.45 44.45 0.0131 101.76
0.0028 35.01 47.03 47.03 0.0132 101.93
0.0029 36.12 49.70 49.70 0.0133 102.09
0.0030 37.23 52.49 52.49 0.0134 102.25
0.0031 38.33 55.38 55.38 0.0135 102.39
0.0032 39.42 56.10 58.38 >0.0135 103.42 103.42 124.11
1
ASD allowable axial compression stresses (Fa) in the vertical direction for cylindrical steel tank shell plates are based on AWWA D100
(welded tanks) and AWWA D103 (bolted tanks) and the tank t/R (shell thickness to tank radius) ratio, where t and R are both in the same
units. Equations are given for most t/R ratios above 0.004 since these t/R ratios are less common.
2
The allowable axial compression stresses in the table can be multiplied by 1.333 when the load case includes forces from wind or
earthquake.
3
The published minimum yield stress (Fy) for Class 1 steel is 186.2-234.4 MPa and for Class 2 is greater than 234.4 MPa.

E.3 Tank Roof and Shell Design for Gravity Forces


Design the tank to resist dead loads (see Recommendation 2.2.3.2) plus roof live (or snow) loads (see
Recommendation 2.2.3.4). Allowable stresses are found in Section E.2.2 for roof members and supporting
columns, and in Section E.2.3.3 for tank shell plates.
Shell axial compression from vertical gravity loads alone is not likely to control the required shell thickness.
For the common condition where the roof is comprised of radial beams (i.e., like the spokes in a wheel)
supported at the interior by one column at the center of the tank and at the perimeter by the tank shell, the
roof load on the shell may be estimated as 2/3 of the total dead weight of the roof plate plus 1/2 of the total
dead weight of the roof radial members plus 2/3 of the total roof live (or snow) load.

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E.4 Tank Shell Design for Hydrostatic and Hydrodynamic Forces


Determine the required thicknesses of steel shell plates needed to resist hoop tension caused by pressure
of the tank contents per the requirements in this section. Base the thickness of each shell ring on the
hydrostatic (and hydrodynamic, where applicable) pressure at the bottom of the shell ring being designed
(i.e., the hydrostatic and hydrodynamic pressures at the bottom of the shell ring are assumed to act
undiminished on the entire shell ring above).

E.4.1 Hydrostatic Hoop Tension Forces


Welded Tanks. For welded tanks, the required shell plate thickness of Ring n to resist hydrostatic forces
can be determined from:

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above. For this section, note the
following:
A. Hn is the water height measured down from the TCL to the bottom of Shell Ring n (at the tank base,
Hn equals the maximum height of the water in the tank [H]).
B. Ftn is the normal allowable tension stress for gravity loads (no 1/3 increase) for a welded tank, including
the joint efficiency reduction factor, for Shell Ring n (see Section E.2.3.2).
Bolted Tanks. For bolted tanks, the required shell plate thickness of Ring n to resist hydrostatic forces can
be determined from:

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above and Figure 26 for lap splice
details. For this section, note the following:
A. Hn is the water height measured down from the TCL to the bottom of Shell Ring n (at the tank base,
Hn equals the maximum height of the water in the tank [H]).
B. Ftn is the normal allowable tension stress for gravity loads (no 1/3 increase) for a bolted tank for Shell
Ring n (see Section E.2.3.2).

E.4.2 Hydrodynamic Hoop Tension Forces


For tanks located in FM Global 50 through 500-year earthquake zones where a site-specific SDS greater
than 1.4g (unanchored tank) or 1.6g (anchored tank) is being used, increase the shell thicknesses required
for hydrostatic pressure (found in Section E.4.1) by multiplying these by the following factor to account for
hydrodynamic fluid pressures:

[0.75 + (0.625
R i
)S ]DS (must be greater than 1.0)

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equation above. Note that Ri equals 3.5 for
an unanchored tank or 4.0 for an anchored tank (see Table 21).

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E.5 Tank Design for Wind Forces

E.5.1 Tank Wind Anchorage


Determine if shear or overturning anchorage at the base of the tank is needed to resist lateral wind forces
in accordance with this section.
E.5.1.1 Using the uniform lateral (horizontal) wind pressure (Pw) per Recommendation 2.2.3.5.3, determine
the total lateral force (Vw) from wind pressure on the tank as follows:
U.S. Customary Units SI Units
Vw = (Pw)(D)(Hsh) Vw = 1000 (Pw)(D)(Hsh)

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above.
E.5.1.2 Determine the frictional force between the tanks steel bottom plate and the supporting ground or
concrete mat resisting wind lateral forces (VRES), using only the dead weight of the tank, as follows:
A. When a bottom plate does not exist, VRES = 0.
B. When a bottom plate exists:
U.S. Customary Units SI Units
VRES = tan20 (mr + msh + mb) VRES = 9.8tan20 (mr + msh + mb)

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above. For this section, note that
no roof live (or snow) load should be included when calculating mr.
E.5.1.3 Provide shear anchorage at the base of the tank when the lateral force from the wind (Vw) exceeds
the resisting frictional force (VRES). When shear anchorage is needed, the required ASD shear force (Vr)
per anchor is determined using the following formula:

[
Vr = Vw VRES
keN
]
See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equation above. For this section, note the
following:
A. The number of foundation anchors (N) should only include those anchors effective for resisting shear.
B. When the tank does not have a steel bottom plate use ke = 0.5 (i.e., half of the bolts are effective),
when a steel bottom plate exists use ke = 1.0 (i.e., all bolts are effective). See Sections 3.1.3.6.1 and E.7
for a discussion of tank anchorage.
E.5.1.4 Determine the overturning moment from wind pressure (Mw) at the tank base assuming the total
lateral force from wind pressure (Vw) is applied at the mid-height of the shell:
Mw = 0.5 (Hsh)(Vw)
Which can also be expressed as:
U.S. Customary Units SI Units
2
Mw = 0.5D(Hsh) Pw Mw = 0.5D(Hsh)2(1000Pw)
See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equation above.
E.5.1.5 Determine the moment resisting wind overturning at the tank base (MRES) assuming the dead weight
(WD) of the tank shell plus that portion of the roof dead weight supported by the tank shell is applied at the
center of the tank:

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See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above.
E.5.1.6 Provide overturning anchorage when the moment resisting wind overturning (MRES) is less than 1.5
times the overturning moment from wind (Mw). When overturning anchorage is needed, the required ASD
tensile force (Tr) per anchor is determined using the following formula:

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equation above. For this section note the
following:
A. The number of foundation anchors (N) should only include those anchors effective for resisting
overturning.
B. When the tank does not have a steel bottom plate use ke = 0.5 (i.e., half of the bolts are effective);
when a steel bottom plate exists use ke = 1.0 (i.e., all bolts are effective). See Sections 3.1.3.6.1 and E.7
for a discussion of tank anchorage.

E.5.2 Tank Shell Wind Compression Stresses


Determine the adequacy of the tank shell, at its base and where the tank shell thickness changes, to resist
combined vertical axial compression stresses from dead loads plus wind overturning forces in accordance
with this section.
E.5.2.1 Determine the minimum steel thickness of each tank shell ring such that the vertical compression
stress (c) at the bottom of the ring from dead and wind loads is less than the ASD allowable vertical
compression stress (Fa) based on the shell thickness to tank radius ratio (t/R) and Table 18, including the
1.333 wind increase factor, for that ring.
E.5.2.2 At the base of the tank, calculate the vertical (longitudinal) compression stress (c) from combined
dead and wind load as follows:

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above.
E.5.2.3 For rings higher in the shell, where either the thickness or steel yield stress (Fy) change, calculate
the vertical (longitudinal) axial compression stress (c) from combined dead and wind load using the equations
in Section E.5.2.2 but replacing the values of WD and Mw by the values of WDn and Mwn at the bottom of

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Shell Ring n (the shell ring being checked) and the value of ts by the actual thickness (tn) of Shell Ring
n. The wind overturning moment at the bottom of shell ring n that is a distance z above the tank base
is given by:
U.S. Customary Units SI Units
2
Mwn = 0.5D(Hsh - z) Pw Mwn = 0.5D(Hsh - z)2(1000Pw)

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above.

E.5.3 Tank Shell Wind Girders (Stiffeners)


Determine the need for shell wind girders (stiffeners) using the requirements of this section.
Wind girders, when needed, can be many different shapes (e.g., a steel angle, a steel channel) meeting
width/thickness (w/t) ratio provisions of steel design codes. In general, for elements held along one edge (e.g.,
an angle leg, the flange of a channel or Z-shaped member, the stem of a T-shaped member, each half of
the flange of an I-shaped or T-shaped member) as long as the width of the element is less than 16 times its
thickness the w/t ratio is adequate.
In many cases it will be obvious that intermediate stiffeners are not required. For example, a cylindrical tank
with a 40 ft (12.2 m) diameter and an average uniform horizontal wind pressure (Paw) of 18 psf (0.862 kPa)
could be nearly 73 ft (22.2 m) tall and not need intermediate wind girders if the shell plate is at least 0.25
in. (6.4 mm) thick. However, if the shell plate was the minimum thickness allowed for bolted tanks (0.094 in.
[2.4 mm] thick), a wind girder would be required at only 6.3 ft (1.9 m) below the roof.
E.5.3.1. When tank roof members are positively attached to the shell at a spacing not exceeding 6 ft 3 in.
(1.9 m), a wind girder at the top of the tank is not needed. When this spacing is exceeded, provide a wind girder
per Section E.5.3.3 unless an engineering analysis shows the tank shell is adequate without one.
E.5.3.2 When the tank shell height (Hsh) is greater than the calculated value of the maximum wind girder
spacing (hmax) from the appropriate equation below, either thicken the tank shell or provide one or more
intermediate shell wind girders, with spacing not exceeding hmax, per Section E.5.3.3.

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above. For this section note the
following:
A. tav is the average tank wall thickness within the distance hmax
B. Paw is the average wind pressure acting over hmax and usually equals Pw as defined in
Recommendation 2.2.3.5.3. Use a minimum Paw of 18 psf (0.862 kPa).
E.5.3.3 When a top or intermediate wind girder (stiffener) is required, the minimum section modulus is
determined by the appropriate formula below:

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See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above. For this section note the
following:
A. The minimum required section modulus of the wind girder, (S) can be determined including a portion
of the tank shell for a distance of the lesser of 16t or 0.78Rt below and, if applicable, above the wind girder.
B. t = tank wall thickness at the girder attachment location, in. (mm).
C. R = tank radius, in. (mm).
D. h = height of the shell being considered, ft (m). For a top girder h is the full shell height (Hsh). For
an intermediate girder, h equals the distance from the girder being sized to the next girder below (or, in
the case of the lowest wind girder, to the tank base), and h cannot be greater than hmax from Section
E.5.3.2

E.6 Tank Design for Earthquake Forces


Design tanks located in FM Global 50 through 500-year zones for earthquake forces based on FM Approvals
Standard 4020, major aspects of which are outlined in this section.

E.6.1 Determining Earthquake Forces


The information below summarizes some of the key points of the FM Approvals Standard 4020 method for
determining earthquake forces for steel flat-bottom ground-supported cylindrical suction tanks.
A. Determine basic design parameters based on the tank location and configuration, including:
1. From Table 19, values of the short period acceleration (SDS), the one-second acceleration (SD1)
and the period Ts = SD1/SDS for the FM Global earthquake zone in which the tank will be located.
Site-specific values may be used as allowed in FM Approvals Standard 4020 and Data Sheet 1-2.
2. From Table 20 and based on the tank H/R (maximum liquid height [H] to tank radius [R], where both
are in the same units) ratio, find the ratios and values (variables are defined in Table 15) needed for
determining earthquake forces (mi/ml, mc/ml, Cc, and, if needed, Ci, and Cv) and earthquake overturning
moments (hi/H, hc/H, hi/H, hc/H). Interpolate when the actual H/R ratio is between H/R ratios given
in the table. Note, the ratios hi/H, hc/H are only needed for design of concrete slab/mat foundations,
which will not be covered in this appendix (see the FM Approvals standard for more information).
3. From Table 21, values of the ASD impulsive/vertical force reduction factor (Ri), the ASD convective
force reduction factor (Rc) and earthquake importance factor (I).
B. Based on the tank properties, determine the natural period of vibration, in seconds, for the horizontal
convective mode (Tc) using the following equations:
U.S. Customary Units SI Units
Tc = Cc 0.5D Tc = 1.811Cc0.5D
See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above. Note that the SI unit equation
above has been adjusted so that the same value of Cc from Table 20 can be used for both U.S. Customary
units and SI units.
For most ground-supported cylindrical steel suction tanks, calculating the periods of vibration for the impulsive
(Ti) and vertical (Tv) modes is not necessary since they will typically be less than the period defined as Ts
= SD1/SDS. This assumption will be used in this appendix. If exact values for Ti and Tv are needed, see FM
Approval Standard 4020.
C. Find, from Table 22 or Figure 28, the horizontal impulsive spectral acceleration (SAi), horizontal
convective spectral acceleration (SAc) and vertical spectral acceleration (SAv), as a portion of gravity,
based on the natural periods of vibration Ti, Tc and Tv (in seconds), respectively. For steel flat-bottom
ground-supported suction tanks, it is conservative, and generally reasonable, to omit calculations for SAi
and SAv and simply assume them to equal SDS and 0.667SDS, respectively.
D. Calculate individual dead weights (U.S. Customary units) or masses (SI units) and the distances from
the tank base to their centers of mass for the tank roof (both the dead load and the portion of the roof
live [snow] load to be used in the analysis), for the tank shell, for the tank bottom plate and for the impulsive
and convective fluid. Note that for U.S. Customary units the weights are in pounds while in SI units the

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masses are in kilograms. Any roof live (or snow) loads included in the earthquake analysis must be
converted, for SI units, from kPa to kg/m2 by multiplying by a factor of (1000/9.8) and then multiplying
this by the roof area (m2).
Because earthquake base shear and overturning moment are dominated by the contained water, it is not
necessary to be overly precise in determining the distance from the tank base to the centers of mass of the
tank elements. Assuming distances from the tank base equal to the tank shell height (for the roof mass)
and equal to half the shell height (for the shell mass) is usually reasonable. For impulsive and convective
weights (masses) and distances above the tank base to their centers of mass, the ratios mi/ml, mc/ml, hi/H,
and hc/H from Table 20 are used.
When the actual provided freeboard, da (ft or m), is less than the expected sloshing wave height dsl =
0.5*D*SAc (where dsl and the tank diameter [D] are in the same units of length [ft or m]), the roof constrains
the liquid and causes a portion of the convective liquid to act as an impulsive liquid. Lack of sufficient
freeboard can result in significantly larger horizontal earthquake forces and overturning moments on the tank,
since the impulsive acceleration is much higher than the convective acceleration.
When the actual provided freeboard, da (ft or m) is less than the required freeboard, dsl (ft or m) increase
the impulsive fluid weight and decrease the convective fluid weight, and design the roof to resist the uplift
forces. The impulsive and convective water weights must be revised as follows:

[
mi-IF = mi + mc x 1 da
dsl
( )]
mc-IF = ml mi-IF
See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above.
E. Analyze the tank for earthquake forces per Sections E.6.2 and E.6.3. Equations for the base shear
(VEQ) and overturning moment (MEQ) use horizontal ASD design forces found by multiplying: 1) the tank
weight and the impulsive fluid weight by the Table 21 impulsive ASD design acceleration, and 2) the
convective fluid weight by the Table 21 convective ASD design acceleration. The impulsive and convective
components of the base shear and overturning moment are combined by the square root sum of the
squares (SRSS) method. Vertical ASD forces are found by multiplying the total tank weight and/or the
fluid weight by the Table 21 vertical ASD design acceleration.

Table 19. Seismic Design Parameters SDS, SD1 and Ts Based on FM Global Earthquake Zone1
FM Global Earthquake
Zone SDS (g) SD1 (g) Ts (sec)
50-year 1.3 g 0.8 g 0.615
100-year 0.9 g 0.45 g 0.5
250-/500-year 0.55 g 0.25 g 0.455
1
See Table 15 for the definition of variables in the table.

Table 20. Ground-Supported Flat-Bottom Suction Tank Earthquake Design Values as a Function of Tank H/R Ratios1
See Note 2 See Note 3 See Note 2
H/R mi/ml mc/ml Ci Cc Cv hi/H hc/H hi/H hc/H
0.3 0.176 0.824 9.28 1.153 9.83 0.4 0.521 2.64 3.414
0.5 0.3 0.7 7.74 0.959 7.91 0.4 0.543 1.46 1.517
0.7 0.414 0.586 6.97 0.881 7.04 0.401 0.571 1.009 1.011
1 0.548 0.452 6.36 0.838 6.43 0.419 0.616 0.721 0.785
1.5 0.686 0.314 6.06 0.82 6.03 0.439 0.69 0.555 0.734
2 0.763 0.237 6.21 0.817 5.87 0.448 0.751 0.5 0.764
2.5 0.81 0.19 6.56 0.817 5.8 0.452 0.794 0.48 0.796
3 0.842 0.158 7.03 0.817 5.75 0.453 0.825 0.472 0.825
1
Values in this table are the same as those in FM Approvals Standard 4020. See Table 15 for the definition of variables in the table.
2
These ratios are applicable to both U.S. Customary and SI units. Also note that H, R, hi, hc, hi and hc have the units of ft (m); and mi,
mc and ml have the units of lb (kg).
3
Values in the table for Ci, Cc, and Cv are for U.S. Customary units. However, any SI unit equations in the Appendix E text using these
parameters have been adjusted so that the same Ci, Cc, and Cv values from this table can be used.

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Table 21. Allowable Stress Design (ASD) Force Reduction and Importance Factors
Force Direction and Mode
Horizontal Vertical
Item Impulsive Convective
ASD force reduction factors
Ri (impulsive and vertical Ri = 3.5 (unanchored tank) Same as horizontal
modes) and Rc (convective Ri = 4.0 (anchored tank) Rc = 2.0 impulsive mode
mode)
Earthquake Importance 1.25
Factor (I)
ASD Design Acceleration1 SAi SAc SAv
( )
Ri
I
( )
Rc
I
( )
Ri
I
1
For values of SAi, SAc and SAv see Table 22 or Figure 28.

Table 22. Spectral Accelerations SAi, SAc, and SAv as a Function of Natural Period of Vibration1,2,3
Value of Natural Period of
Vibration (T), seconds SAi (at T =Ti), g SAc (at T =Tc), g SAv (at T =Tv), g
T < Ts SDS 1.5* (S DS) 2/3* (SDS)
Ts T 4 sec (SD1/Ti) 1.5* (SD1/Tc) 2/3* (SD1/Tv)
T > 4 sec (4SD1/Ti2) 1.5* (4SD1/Tc2) 2/3* (4SD1/Tv2)
1 The natural period of vibration (T) in the first column represents the appropriate natural period of vibration for the spectral acceleration
being determined (i.e., Ti for impulsive, Tc for convective or Tv for vertical)
2
The response spectra for SAc and SAv are 1.5 times and 2/3 times the response spectrum for SAi, respectively.
3
For values of SDS, SD1, and Ts see Table 19.
Impulsive (SA ), Convective (SAc) or Vertical (SAv) Acceleration (g)

K*(SDS) [where T < Ts ]


Values of K
Impulsive 1.0
Convective 1.5
K*(SDS) Vertical 0.667

Ts = (SD1 /SDS)

K*(SD1) K*(SD1 /T) [where Ts < T < 4 sec]

K*(4SD1 /T2) [where T > 4 sec]

0
0 Ts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Period (T), seconds


Where T Equals T (Impulsive), Tc (Convective) or Tv (Vertical)

Fig. 28. Graph of spectral accelerations SAi, SAc, and SAv vs. natural periods of vibration Ti, Tc, and Tv

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E.6.2 Designing for Earthquake Shear at the Tank Base

E.6.2.1 Tank Earthquake Lateral Force


Determine the total earthquake lateral force (VEQ) at the base of the tank as follows:

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above. For this section note that:
A. The earthquake base shear (VEQ) has a factor of safety of 1.1.
B. If freeboard is insufficient use the modified weights (masses) of the impulsive liquid (mi-IF) and the
convective liquid (mc-IF) instead of mi and mc (which assume sufficient freeboard).
C. For these equations mr should include the total roof dead load plus 25% of the total roof live (or snow)
load - for SI units, convert the live or snow loads given in kPa to kg/m2 by multiplying by a factor of
(1000/9.8) and then multiplying this by the roof area (m2).
D. If checking to see if anchorage is needed, use the Ri value assuming the tank is unanchored.

E.6.2.2 Tank Earthquake Shear Anchorage


Determine if shear anchorage at the base of the tank is needed to resist earthquake forces in accordance
with this section.
E.6.2.2.1 Determine the frictional force between the tanks steel bottom plate and the supporting ground or
concrete mat resisting earthquake lateral forces (VRES), using the dead weight of the tank and contained
water, but no roof live load, as follows:
A. When a bottom plate does not exist, VRES = 0 (in addition, a mat foundation must be used).
B. When a bottom plate exists:
VRES = tan 20 (mr + msh + mb + mi + mc) (1.0 - [0.4 x SAv]) U.S.Customary Units
VRES = 9.8 x tan 20 (mr + msh + mb + mi + mc) (1.0 - [0.4 x SAv] ) SI Units
See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above. Note that VEQ is calculated
including 25% of the total roof live (or snow) load but when calculating VRES, no roof live (or snow) load
should be included.
E.6.2.2.2 Provide shear anchorage at the base of the tank when the lateral force from the earthquake (VEQ)
exceeds the resisting frictional force (VRES). When shear anchorage is needed, the required ASD shear force
(Vr) per anchor is determined using the following formula:

[
Vr = VEQ VRES
keN
] (U.S. customary or SI units)

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equation above. For this section, note the
following:
A. The number of foundation anchors (N) should only include those anchors effective for resisting shear.

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B. When the tank does not have a steel bottom plate use ke = 0.5 (i.e., half of the bolts are effective);
when a steel bottom plate exists use ke = 1.0 (i.e., all bolts are effective). See Sections 3.1.3.6.1 and E.7
for a discussion of tank anchorage.

E.6.3 Designing for Earthquake Overturning Moment


The overturning equations at the tank base in this section are used to design overturning anchorage and
ring wall foundations. Tank shell tension and compression stresses are checked at the tank base and upper
shell. Where mat or pile foundations are used, they are designed for a larger moment (determined using
hi and hc) - see FM Approvals Standard 4020.

E.6.3.1 Tank Earthquake Overturning Moment at the Tank Base


Determine the earthquake overturning moment (MEQ) at the base of the tank as follows:

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above. For this section note the
following:
A. If freeboard is insufficient use the modified weights (masses) of the impulsive liquid (mi-IF) and the
convective liquid (mc-IF) instead of mi and mc (which assume sufficient freeboard).
B. For these equations mr should include the total roof dead load plus 25% of the total roof live (or snow)
load; for SI units, convert the live or snow loads given in kPa to kg/m2 by multiplying by a factor of
(1000/9.8) and then multiplying this by the roof area (m2).
C. If checking to see if anchorage is needed, use the Ri value assuming the tank is unanchored.

E.6.3.2 Tank Earthquake Overturning Anchorage at the Tank Base


Determine if overturning anchorage at the base of the tank is needed to resist earthquake forces in
accordance with this section.
E.6.3.2.1 Determine the dead weight of the tank shell plus the roof supported by the tank shell (no roof live
load) per length of circumference (wt) as follows:

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above.
E.6.3.2.2 Determine the dead weight of the water adjacent to the shell per length of circumference (wL) that
can be used to resist overturning as follows:
A. When a bottom plate does not exist, wL = 0 (in addition, a concrete mat foundation must be used).

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B. When a bottom plate exists:

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above. For this section note that
tb is the thickness of the bottom plate adjacent to the tank shell; see the commentary below for limitations.
In most tanks the bottom plate is uniform throughout, but the bottom plate can be thickened near the tank shell
(i.e., creating a bottom plate annulus) allowing it to carry more liquid dead load. See FM Approvals Standard
4020 for specific information regarding annulus thickness and width determination. Even if a thicker annulus
is provided, the value of tb in the equations above should not exceed the thickness of the bottom shell ring.
E.6.3.2.3 Based on the value of the earthquake uplift factor J at the base of the tank, determine the need
for uplift anchorage as follows (variables have been defined previously in this section):

When:
J 0.785, there is no shell uplift and uplift anchors are not required.
0.785 < J 1.54, there is shell uplift but anchors are not required unless needed to limit the compression
stress at the bottom of the shell (see Section E.6.3.3.2) in lieu of thickening the tank shell plates.
J > 1.54, the tank must be anchored unless the bottom plate annulus can be thickened to engage more
dead load from the contained water and reduce J.
E.6.3.2.4 When overturning anchorage is needed per Section E.6.3.2.3, the required ASD tension force (Tr)
per anchor is determined using the following formula:

See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equation above. For this section note the
following:
A. The number of foundation anchors (N) should only include those anchors effective for resisting
overturning.
B. When the tank does not have a steel bottom plate use ke = 0.5 (i.e., half of the bolts are effective);
when a steel bottom plate exists use ke = 1.0 (i.e., all bolts are effective). See Sections 3.1.3.6.1 and E.7
for a discussion of tank anchorage.

E.6.3.3 Tank Shell Earthquake Compression Stresses


Determine the adequacy of the tank shell (at its base and where the tank shell thickness changes) to resist
combined vertical compression stresses from dead loads plus earthquake overturning forces in accordance
with this section.

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Each tank shell ring must have a minimum steel thickness such that the vertical compression stress (c) at
the bottom of the ring from dead and earthquake loads is less than the allowable vertical axial compression
stress (Fa) based on the shell thickness to tank radius ratio (t/R) and Table 18, including the 1.333 wind
increase factor, for that ring.
E.6.3.3.1 At the base of the tank, when there is no uplift (J 0.785 from Section E.6.3.2.3) or when the tank
is anchored, calculate the vertical (longitudinal) compression stress (c) from combined dead and earthquake
load as follows:
U.S. Customary Units:

c = (
wt + 1.273MEQ
D2
)( 1
12ts
)
SI Units:

c = (
wt + 1.273MEQ
D2
)( 1
1000ts
)
See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above.
E.6.3.3.2 At the base of the tank, when there is uplift (0.785 < J 1.54 from Section E.6.3.2.3), calculate
the vertical (longitudinal) compression stress (c) from combined dead and earthquake load as follows (note,
if J > 1.54 anchorage must be provided and the stress for the anchored tank would be calculated using
Section E.6.3.3.1):
U.S. Customary Units:

c = ( wt + w L
0.607 - 0.18667(J2.3)
- wL )( 1
12ts
)
SI Units:

c =
( wt + w L
0.607 - 0.18667(J2.3)
- wL )( 1
1000ts
)
See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above.
E.6.3.3.3 For rings higher in the shell, where either the thickness or steel yield stress (Fy) change, calculate
the vertical (longitudinal) axial compression stress (c) based on the earthquake moment (MEQn) at the
bottom of Shell Ring n (the shell ring being checked) and the thickness (tn) of Shell Ring n.
E.6.3.3.3.1 The earthquake overturning moment at the bottom of Shell Ring n (MEQn) that is a distance
z above the tank base is found as follows.

U.S. Customary Units:

{ } { }
2 2
[(mi x hi x i) + (msh x hsh x i) + (mr x {hr -z})] x SAi (mc x hc x c x SAc)
MEQn = +
Ri/I Rc/I

SI Units:

{ } { }
2 2
[(mi x hi x i) + (msh x hsh x i) + (mr x {hr -z})] x SAi (mc x hc x c x SAc)
MEQn = 9.8 x +
Ri/I Rc/I

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See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above. Also note that the values
for i and c are found in Table 23.
E.6.3.3.3.2 When the compressive stress at the tank base was originally calculated per Section E.6.3.3.1
(i.e., the tank is anchored or J [at tank base] 0.785) use that section to calculate the compressive stress
at the bottom of Shell Ring n by substituting MEQn for MEQ and substituting the thickness of Shell Ring n
(tn) for ts.
E.6.3.3.3.3 When the compressive stress at the tank base was originally calculated per Section E.6.3.3.2
(i.e., 0.785 < J [at tank base] 1.54) use that section to calculate the compressive stress at the bottom of
Shell Ring n by substituting Jn for J and substituting the thickness of Shell Ring n (tn) for ts. The value for
Jn is determined from:

MEQn
Jn =
D2 (wt + wL) (U.S. customary or SI units)

Table 23. Factors for Reducing Impulsive and Convective Overturning Moments at Height (z) from the Base1
Ratio of Heights
(Above Tank Base) Impulsive Factor Convective Factor
(z/H) (i) (c)
0 1.0 1.0
0.05 0.90 0.95
0.10 0.80 0.90
0.15 0.71 0.84
0.20 0.62 0.77
0.25 0.54 0.71
0.30 0.45 0.64
0.35 0.39 0.59
0.40 0.32 0.53
0.45 0.26 0.48
0.50 0.20 0.42
0.55 0.17 0.36
0.60 0.13 0.30
0.65 0.10 0.25
0.70 0.06 0.19
0.75 0.04 0.15
0.80 0.02 0.10
0.85 0.01 0.07
0.90 0.00 0.04
0.95 0.00 0.00
1.00 0.00 0.00
1
H is the maximum height (ft or m) of water in the tank from base to TCL, and z is the height (ft or m) above the tank base where the
earthquake overturning moment is needed. Use interpolation for z/H ratios between values given in the table.

E.7 Tank Anchorage for Wind or Earthquake Forces

E.7.1 General
See Section 2.2.5 and FM Approvals Standard 4020 for additional information on tank foundations and
anchorage. Some brief summary comments are provided below.
Shear anchorage for wind or earthquake can consist of many different kinds of anchors (e.g., bolts cast into
concrete [embedded bolts], post-installed concrete anchors, etc.). These are commonly attached to the tank
through holes in an angle or plate at the tank base. Figure 29 shows tank anchorage that is inadequate to
resist earthquake shear (or uplift) forces and that may be inadequate to resist wind forces. The clips will simply
rotate or bend when subjected to the large forces that can be generated in an earthquake. Design shear
anchors for the forces determined in this appendix (Section E.5.1.3 for wind and Section E.6.2.2.2 for

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earthquake). Anchor capacities in shear are given in manufacturers literature or in building codes. The
one-third seismic increase is generally applicable since shears in this appendix are based on allowable stress
design (ASD).
Uplift anchorage for wind can likewise vary. Commonly, embedded or post-installed concrete bolts are
provided and anchored through holes in an angle or plate at the tank base. For some tanks strap anchors
are embedded into the concrete and welded to the tank shell. Where wind uplift forces are particularly high,
a bolt that is attached to the tank shell through a steel chair (see below) may be needed. The uplift (tension)
force for wind anchorage is given in Section E.5.1.6 of this appendix and, again, the one-third stress increase
is typically allowed for design.
Earthquake uplift anchorage is designed for much more severe conditions than wind uplift anchorage. Anchor
bolts embedded into concrete foundations and attached to the tank shell via anchor chairs are used (see
Figure 27 and Figure 30). Strap anchors are not allowed. Attaching post-installed concrete anchors to anchor
chairs is difficult and post-installed concrete anchors will not typically have adequate capacity to resist
earthquake uplift forces. Earthquake uplift anchors are not attached to angles at the base of the tank because:
1) the large forces may damage the connection of the shell to the bottom plate, and 2) it is desirable to provide
sufficient length in the section of bolt above the foundation and below the anchor chair so that yielding of
the bolt can occur. The uplift (tension) force determined in Section E.6.3.2.4 of this appendix is used to size
the bolts and determine ring beam size and details. However, the embedment of the bolt in the concrete,
and the size and details of the anchor chair attached to the tank shell are determined using higher forces so
that these do not fail before the anchor bolt itself.
When an anchor resists both shear and tension, an interaction equation of the form: Tr/Ta + Vr/Va 1.0 should
be used (Tr and Vr are the required tension and shear force in the bolt, Ta and Va are the allowable
tension and shear force in the bolt [including the one-third increase if appropriate]). When uplift anchors
consist of bolts and chairs and shear anchorage is needed, special details or separate shear anchorage
must be provided. Post-installed concrete anchors subject to earthquake shear and/or tension must be
qualified for use in earthquake zones as outlined in Data Sheet 1-2.
The remainder of this section is devoted to the design of earthquake uplift anchors and anchor chairs.

E.7.2 Earthquake Uplift Anchorage Design


E.7.2.1 Use the required uplift tension force (Tr) on the anchor (Section E.6.3.2.4) to size the anchor itself.
For embedded bolts having a constant cross-section (i.e., not upset), the tensile stress area of the bolt (As)
must meet both of the following requirements (see Section E.2.4.1 for more information [e.g., no further 1/3
stress increase is allowed]):
AS T/0.33Fu
AS T/0.6Fy
See Table 15 for the definition and units of the variables in the equations above.
If bolts are upset, the gross area (Ag) of the smaller bolt body should also meet the requirements above
(i.e., substitute Ag for As in the above equations).
If post-installed concrete anchors are allowed, they instead should be sized such that their failure capacity
in tension is at least four times the required design tension force (Tr). See Section E.2.4.2.
E.7.2.2 Design of foundations is beyond the scope of this appendix. However, when ring beams are used
(see Figure 30), the weight of the ring beam plus the weight of the soil and water it lifts must be adequate
to resist the tension force (Tr). If necessary, piles or a mat foundation can be used.
For embedded anchor bolts, design and detail the foundation and the embedded part of the bolt (e.g., concrete
strength, foundation reinforcement, bolt embedment depth, etc.) to develop a force equal to AS x Fu (tensile
stress area multiplied by the minimum published ultimate tensile stress of the bolt) without failure. FM
Approvals Standard 4020, and standards such as ACI 318, Appendix D, provide more information.
E.7.2.3 Design anchor bolt chairs in accordance with the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) publication
T-192, Steel Plate Engineering Data: Volume 2 - Useful Information on the Design of Plate Structures, Part
VII Anchor Bolt Chairs; Section E.2.4.4 of this appendix; and the following.

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An example of a welded anchor chair is provided in Figure 31. Nomenclature and dimensions are consistent
with those used in AISI T-192 (nomenclature in Table 15 does not, in general, apply). Assuming the
thicknesses of the tank shell and bottom plates are held constant, the most efficient ways to limit stresses
in the tank shell are by: (1) minimizing the eccentricity of the bolt (dimension e), (2) increasing the chair
height (dimension h), or (3) providing more bolts of smaller diameter. In some cases, the chair height will
need to be much larger than the 12 in. (300 mm) dimension given in Figure 31.
E.7.2.3.1 Take the design load P (lb [N]) on the anchor chair as the lesser of AS x Fy (tensile stress area
multiplied by the minimum published yield stress of the bolt) or four times the required design tension force
(Tr) from Section E.6.3.2.4. (Note: The second requirement will only control if the bolt is oversized. The value
of AS x Fy will typically be about 1.7 to 1.9 times Tr.)
E.7.2.3.2 Based on AISI T-192, meet the following requirements (see Figure 31):
A. Use a minimum chair height (h) of 12 in. (300 mm); it is recommended that h 3a, where a is the
top plate width along the shell.
B. Use vertical side plates with a thickness (j) of 0.04 (h-c), where c is the top plate thickness, but not
less than 0.5 in. (13 mm).
C. The value of the side plate thickness (j) times the average side plate width (k) should meet the following
requirement: jk P/S, where P is the design load (lesser of AS x Fy or 4 x Tr as described above) in lb
(N) and S is the allowable stress of 25,000 psi (172.4 MPa).
D. Provide an eccentricity (e) from the outside of the shell to the centerline of the anchor bolt of at least
0.886d + 0.572 in. (0.886d + 14.5 mm), where d is the anchor bolt diameter, so that the nut will clear
the shell by about 0.5 in. (13 mm).
E. Provide a distance (f) from the outside of the top plate to the edge of the hole of at least 0.5d + 0.125
in. (0.5d + 3 mm).
F. Provide a distance between vertical plates of at least d + 1.0 in. (d + 25 mm).
G. Provide fillet welds with a minimum leg size of in. (6.4 mm) between chair plates and from the chair
to the tank (note: for bolted tanks, chairs are usually bolted to the tank instead; design of bolted
connections is not covered in this appendix).
E.7.2.3.3 Determine the required thickness of the top plate (c) using the following equation (applies to either
U.S. customary or SI units):

c =
P
Sf
(0.375g 0.22d)

Where (see Figure 31):


c = required top plate thickness, in. (mm)
P = design load (lesser of AS x Fy or 4 x Tr), lb (N)
S = allowable stress (use 25,000 psi or 172.4 MPa)
f = distance from outside edge of top plate to edge of hole, in. (mm)
g = distance between vertical plates, in. (mm)
d = anchor bolt diameter, in. (mm)
E.7.2.3.4 Limit the maximum stress in an anchor bolt chair (S) to 25,000 psi (172.4 MPa) using the following
equations (apply to either U.S. customary or SI units):

S = Pe
t2
[
1.32Z + 0.031
k1 Rt
] 25,000 psi (172.4 MPa)
With:

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2 3
k1 = 1.43 ah + 4ah
2

Rt
And:
Z= 1.0
( )
k2 am m 2
+ 1.0
Rt t

Where (see Figure 31):


S = calculated stress, psi (MPa)
P = design load (lesser of AS x Fy or 4 x Tr), lb (N)
e = anchor bolt eccentricity, in. (mm)
t = shell thickness at base, in. (mm)
R = tank radius, in. (mm)
a = top plate width along the shell, in. (mm)
h = chair height, in. (mm)
k2 = constant equal to 0.177 (U.S. Customary units) or 0.00697 (SI units)
m = bottom plate thickness, in. (mm)
E.7.2.3.5 The minimum weld size is almost always adequate, but can be checked using the following
equations (apply to either U.S. customary or SI units):
w W
k3

With: W = WV2 + WH2


And:
P
WV = a + 2h
And:
WH = Pe
ah + 0.667h2

Where :
w = required fillet weld leg size, in. (mm)
W = total load on weld, lb/in. (N/mm)
k3 = 9,600 (U.S. Customary units) or 66.3 (SI Units) based on an allowable weld stress of 13,600 psi (93.8
MPa)
WV = vertical load on weld, lb/in. (N/mm)
WH = horizontal load on weld, lb/in. (N/mm)
P, a, e, and h are as defined above in Section E.7.2.3.4
E.7.2.3.6 An example of an anchor chair that meets the provisions in this section is presented below.
A. Required tension design force (Tr): 11,500 lb. (51,170 N)
B. Anchor bolt steel:
Fy = 36,000 psi (248.2MPa) and Fu = 58,000 psi (400 MPa)
Allowable tension stress (Ft) including 1/3 seismic increase is 20,000 psi (137.9 MPa) per Section
E.2.4.1
C. Minimum required tensile stress area: As = 0.575 in.2 (371 mm2)
D. Actual bolt used:
Diameter (d) = 1 in. (25.4 mm)
Tensile stress area As = 0.606 in.2 (391 mm2)
E. Required chair design load is the lesser of the actual AS x Fy or 4 x Tr: P = 21,816 lb. (97,050 N)
F. Other chair and tank dimensions (defined previously in this section):

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
Page 102 FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

a = 4 in. (101.6 mm)


b = 3 in. (76.2 mm)
e = 1.5 in. (38.1 mm)
f = 0.875 in. (22.2 mm)
g = 2 in. (50.8 mm)
h = 12 in. (304.8 mm)
j = 0.5 in. (12.7 mm)
k = 2.5 in. (63.5 mm)
m = 0.25 in. (6.35 mm)
R = 180 in. (4572 mm)
t = 0.25 in. (6.35 mm)
G. From Section E.7.2.3.3, and using a maximum allowable stress (S) of 25,000 psi (172.4 MPa), the minimum
thickness of the chair top plate (c) is calculated as 0.73 in. (18.5 mm).
H. From Section E.7.2.3.4, the value of Z is calculated as 0.9743 and the value of k1 is calculated as 31.48
(U.S. Customary units) or 798.5 (SI units). The resulting calculated stress (S) is 23,810 psi (164.2 MPa),
which is less than the maximum allowable stress of 25,000 psi (172.4 MPa).
I. From Section E.7.2.3.5, the vertical load on the weld (WV) is calculated as 779 lb/in. (136.5 N/mm) and
the horizontal load on the weld (WH) is calculated as 227 lb/in. (39.8 N/mm) with a resulting total load on the
weld (W) of 811 lb/in. (142.0 N/mm). The required fillet weld leg size (w) needed to resist this total load on
the weld is 0.08 in. (2.15 mm), which is less than the minimum specified fillet weld leg size of in. (6.4 mm).

Fig. 29. Inadequate suction tank anchorage

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3-2 Water Tanks for Fire Protection
Page 104 FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets

Tank roof

Water
Tank level
shell

WL

Edge distance This portion of


(can vary depending on contained water
actual loading and ring resists uplift
beam reinforcement (WL portion is already
recommend at least 10 subtracted in uplift calculations)
times the foundation bolt
diameter)
WL
Anchor chair for minimum
3 0.75 in. (19 mm) foundation bolt
(75 mm)

Grade

6
(150 mm)
Bolt
embedment
length
Reinforced concrete ring beam
(minimum 1.5 ft [460 mm] wide
by 3 ft [910 mm] high;
or as required to resist tank
uplift forces and develop
foundation bolts)
Terminate with nut(s) or bolt
head, may have a plate washer
(do not use J or L bolts) 3
(75 mm)

Longitudinal steel reinforcing


Closed steel reinforcing hoops

Piles (helical, friction, etc.), rock


anchors, or other if necessary to
resist uplift

Fig. 30. Conceptual uplift anchorage for suction tank

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Water Tanks for Fire Protection 3-2
FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets Page 105

Tank shell
plate

Hole b
diameter = (in., mm)
d + 0.25 in.
(d + 6.5 mm)

a f
(in., mm) (0.5d+0.125 in.
[0.5d+3 mm]
minimum)
e
Plan View Looking
(0.886d+0.572 in.
Down [0.886d+14.5 mm]
d + 0.25 in. minimum)
(d + 6.5 mm)
minimum
Anchor bolt Tank shell plate
centerline (thickness = t
c [in., mm])
*
(in., mm)
Typical
*
0.5 in. (13 mm)
maximum Centerline of anchor
bolt with
h diameter d
12 in. (in., mm)
j (300 mm)
= 0.04(h-c) minimum
(0.5 in. [13 mm]
minimum

k
g (Average plate
= d + 1 in. Tank bottom plate width [in., mm])
(d + 25 mm) (thickness = m
Tank bottom plate
minimum [in., mm])

*= minimum fillet weld size = 1/4 in. (6.4 mm)

Elevation Looking Elevation - Section


Toward Tank Through Tank Shell

Fig. 31. Steel welded uplift anchor chair

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